Afterlife

The Transient and the Permanent in the Destiny of Man

A COMPANION of Solomon once said to him, "Give me, O king of wisdom, a maxim equally applicable on all occasions, that I may fortify myself with it against the caprices of fortune." Solomon reflected a moment, then gave him, in these words, the maxim he sought: "This, too, shall pass away." The courtier at first felt disappointed, but, meditating awhile, perceived the pertinent and profound meaning hidden in the transparent simplicity of the words. Are you afflicted? Be not despondent or rash, This, too, shall pass away. Are you blessed? Be not elated or careless, This too shall pass away. Are you in danger? in temptation? in glory? Still, for your proper guidance, in relation to each one, remember; This too shall pass away. And so on, under every diversity of situation in which man can be placed. Whatever restraint, whatever encouragement, whatever consolation he needs, it is all contained in the profound thought, This too shall pass away.

This maxim for all times needs to be supplemented by a corresponding maxim for all persons. There is a truth constantly suited for the variety of immortal souls, as the foregoing one is for the variety of temporal changes. Let us see what that truth is and set it in a fitting aphorism.

The desires of the human soul are boundless. Nothing can satisfy its wishes by fulfilling them and circumscribing there a fixed limit. It would devour the whole creation, and hungrily cry for more. Whatever extension of power or fruition it can conceive, it wants for its own, and frets if deprived of it. Now, if the spirit of the Creator is in the creature, this illimitable passion of acquisition cannot be a mere mockery. It must be a hint of the will of God and of the destiny of his child in whom He has implanted it. It is prophetic of something awaiting fulfillment. But what is the prophecy, and how is it to be fulfilled? The answer to this question will give us that maxim of eternal humanity which accords with the maxim of transient fortune. And thus it reads: Over all the things for which men struggle with each other, there is one thing, out of the sphere of struggle, which indivisibly belongs to every man, and that one thing is the whole universe! Be not baffled by the appearance of transcendental mysticism in this maxim, as the ancient inquirer was by the appearance of commonplace in his, but seek its significance.

A son is an heir of his father. All men are sons of God, though only a few, and that in varying degree, are distinctly conscious as yet of their sonship. But, despite their ignorance, all are tending, more or less swiftly, toward the goal of their nature and inheritance.

There are exclusive prizes which men can monopolize: and they fight with one another for these, because the more some have the less others can obtain. There are also inclusive prizes, or modes of holding and enjoying property which do not interfere with universal participation, with universal, undivided ownership. In these no one need have any the less because every one has all. This is the region of reason, imagination, affection, the empire of the soul. The more one knows of mathematical truth, poetic beauty or moral good, the easier it is, not the harder, for others to know and enjoy as much or more. In this divine domain no monopoly or conflict is possible, because the outward moving fence of each consciousness, retreating and vanishing before its conquests of experience, is a vacuum with respect to that of every other. They overlap and penetrate one another as if they were mutually nonexistent. For example, the pleasure any one takes in a picture, or in a play, does not lessen the pleasure which remains for the other spectators; but, on the contrary, adds to it if they have sympathy.

Now, the all inclusive prize of desire, the very secret of the Godhead namely, the power of taking a full pure joy in every form of being, in every substance and phenomenon of the creation is forever wooing every soul; and every soul, in proportion to its advancement, is forever embracing it just as freely as if no other soul existed, yet has the zest of its enjoyments endlessly varied and heightened by mutual contemplations and reflections of those of all the rest. Such is the superiority of the disinterested spirit over the selfish flesh, of the inner world over the outer world, of good over evil.

Mental ownership is sympathetic and universal, physical appropriation antagonistic and individual. We hate and oppose our fellows that with hand and foot we may monopolize some wretched grains of good, while God is inviting every one of us with our mind and heart to accept as fast as we can his whole undivided infinitude of good. The universe is the house of the Father; the true spirit of the family is disinterested, and consequently every child is heir of the whole even as the apostle Paul said, joint heir with Christ. Register, then, deeply in memory, side by side with the historic maxim for all times, This too shall pass away! the religious maxim for all souls. Over those things for which men struggle with each other, there is one thing, out of the sphere of struggle, which belongs indivisibly to every man, and that one thing is the whole universe! Then, should you ever feel vexed or disheartened by the irritations and failures you meet in your journey through the evanescent masquerade of this world, pause and say to yourself, Is it worthy of me, while the entire realm of existence asks me to appropriate it in ever expansive possession, to be angry or sad because some infinitesimal speck of it does not grant me as much of itself as I crave?

The more things we love the richer we are. The fewer things we care for the freer we are. O blessed wealth and wretched freedom, how shall we perfect and reconcile them? This is the secret: If we love the divine and eternal in everything, and care not for the limiting and perishable evil connected with it, then we shall at once be both rich and free. The former practice educates our powers; the latter emancipates them. The true use of renunciation is as a means for larger fulfillment. Detach from lower and lesser objects in order to attach to higher and greater ones. Be always ready to renounce the meaner at the invitation of the nobler. The soul, like a grand frigate, may be loosely tied by a thousand separate strings, but should be held firm by one cable. Our relations to fellow creatures are those threads; our supreme relation to God, that cable. Those are the gossamer of time; this the adamant of eternity.

The lame man cries, O, that I could walk! He who can walk says, O, that I could fly! If he could soar, he would sigh, O, that I were omnipresent, and therefore had no need to move! The end of one wish is but the beginning of another; and the craving of every human soul, let loose in sincere expression, is absolutely illimitable. It always comes, in the last analysis, to this; every one really longs to be God. Therefore, unless the rational creation is mendacious, to be deified, is, in some mystical but true sense, the final destiny of all souls. Every one, in its consciousness fully developed and harmonized, shall become a focus of universal being, a finite reflex of God, the infinite God himself remaining eternally the same unescapable and incomprehensible mystery as ever.

There are, therefore, two supreme maxims for souls conditioned in time and space but destined for eternity and infinity a maxim of comfort for those who suffer, and a maxim of impulse for those who aspire. The one, to be used in view of every fear, every evil or limit. This, too, shall pass away! The other, to be used in view of every insatiable desire, Over all those things for which men struggle with each other, there is one thing, out of the sphere of struggle, which indivisibly belongs to every man, and that one thing is the whole universe!

Nothing but the Absolute Good is everlasting: and that must belong to all who, being essential personalities, are superior to death. Blessed, blessed, then, are they who hunger and thirst after God; for, by a real transubstantiation assimilating Him, they shall as divinely live forevermore. They shall cease to say any more of anything, This, too, shall pass away! because the infinite God shall have said to each of them, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine!

If the view above marked out, a view in many respects so sublime and satisfactory, a view which goes so far to explain the mysteries, reconcile the contradictions, and transfigure the evils of our transient life and lot below be not true, it must either be because some other higher and better view is the truth in which case we certainly ought to be contented or else the creative and providential plan of God is inferior to the thought of one of his creatures. It is not possible for me to suppose that a speculative theory of my brain can transcend in harmony and beneficence the design of the infinite God. Could it do so, then, in reality, I should be a higher being than He. I should veritably have dethroned Him and vaulted into his place. Is not that a pitch of impiety and absurdity too great even for the pride of man, insurgent atom of criticising assumption, set, baffled at every point, amidst the awful immensity of existence? Here, then, is rest. Either our highest view is the truth, or the truth is higher and better than that. For to think that his thought is superior to the purpose of God, thus making himself the real God, is too much for the extremist human egotist within the limits of sanity.

Therefore, until a better theory is propounded, we hold that the destiny of the soul is to become, through the progressive actualization of its potential consciousness, a free thinking center of the universe, an infinitesimal mirror of God. The adventures of the different souls, full of inexhaustible curiosity and relish in the mutually revealing contacts of their degrees of development and originalities of personal character and treasure, constitute the endless drama of spiritual existence within the phenomenal theater of the material creation. And still the infinite One serenely smiles on the troubled play of the eternal Many; because the psychological kaleidoscope of their experience is a continuous improvisation of justice, weaving the fate of Each with the fates of All, and transfusing the monotonous unity of the Same with the zestful variety of the Other.

Druidic Doctrine of A Future Life

THAT strange body of men, commonly known as the Druids, who constituted what may, with some correctness, be called the Celtic priesthood, were the recognised religious teachers throughout Gaul, Armorica, a small part of Germany on the southern border, all Great Britain, and some neighboring islands. The notions in regard to a future life put forth by them are stated only in a very imperfect manner by the Greek and Roman authors in whose surviving works we find allusions to the Druids or accounts of the Celts. Several modern writers especially Borlase, in his Antiquities of Cornwall1 have collected all these references from Diodorus, Strabo, Procopius, Tacitus, Casar, Mela, Valerius Maximus, and Marcellinus. It is therefore needless to cite the passages here, the more so as, even with the aid of all the analytic and constructive comments which can be fairly made upon them, they afford us only a few general views, leaving all the details in profound obscurity. The substance of what we learn from these sources is this. First, that the Druids possessed a body of science and speculation comprising the doctrine of immortality, which they taught with clearness and authority. Secondly, that they inculcated the belief in a future life in inseparable connection with the great dogma of metempsychosis. Thirdly, that the people held such cheerful and attractive views of the future state, and held them with such earnestness, that they wept around the newborn infant and smiled around the corpse; that they encountered death without fear or reluctance. This reversal of natural sentiments shows the tampering of a priesthood who had motives.

A somewhat more minute conception of the Druidic view of the future life is furnished us by an old mythologic tale of Celtic origin.2 Omitting the story, as irrelevant to our purpose, we derive from it the following ideas. The soul, on being divested of its earthly envelop, is borne aloft. The clouds are composed of the souls of lately deceased men. They fly over the heads of armies, inspiring courage or striking terror. Not yet freed from terrestrial affections, they mingle in the passions and affairs of men. Vainly they strive to soar above the atmosphere; an impassable wall of sapphire resists their wings. In the moon, millions of souls traverse tremendous plains of ice, losing all perception but that of simple existence, forgetting the adventures they have passed through and are about to recommence. During eclipses, on long tubes of darkness they return to the earth, and, revived by a beam of light from the all quickening sun, enter newly formed bodies, and begin again the career of life. The disk of the sun consists of an assemblage of pure souls swimming in an ocean of bliss. Souls sullied with earthly impurities are to be purged by repeated births and probations till the last stain is removed, and they are all finally fitted to ascend to a succession of spheres still higher than the sun, whence they can never sink again to reside in the circle of the lower globes and grosser atmosphere.

1 Book ii. ch. 14.

2 Davies, Celtic Researches, appendix, pp. 558-561.

These representations are neither Gothic nor Roman, but Celtic.

But a far more adequate exposition of the Druidic doctrine of the soul's destinies has been presented to us through the translation of some of the preserved treasures of the old Bardic lore of Wales. The Welsh bards for hundreds of years were the sole surviving representatives of the Druids. Their poems numerous manuscripts of which, with apparent authentication of their genuineness, have been published and explained contain quite full accounts of the tenets of Druidism, which was nowhere else so thoroughly systematized and established as in ancient Britain.3 The curious reader will find this whole subject copiously treated, and all the materials furnished, in the "Myvyrian Archaology of Wales," a work in two huge volumes, published at London at the beginning of the present century. After the introduction and triumph of Christianity in Britain, for several centuries the two systems of thought and ritual mutually influenced each other, corrupting and corrupted.4 A striking example in point is this. The notion of a punitive and remedial transmigration belonged to Druidism. Now, Taliesin, a famous Welsh bard of the sixth century, locates this purifying metempsychosis in the Hell of Christianity, whence the soul gradually rises again to felicity, the way for it having been opened by Christ! Cautiously eliminating the Christian admixtures, the following outline, which we epitomize from the pioneer5 of modern scholars to the Welsh Bardic literature, affords a pretty clear knowledge of that portion of the Druidic theology relating to the future life.

There are, says one of the Bardic triads, three circles of existence. First, the Circle of Infinity, where of living or dead there is nothing but God, and which none but God can traverse. Secondly, the Circle of Metempsychosis, where all things that live are derived from death. This circle has been traversed by man. Thirdly, the Circle of Felicity, where all things spring from life. This circle man shall hereafter traverse. All animated beings originate in the lowest point of existence, and, by regular gradations through an ascending series of transmigrations, rise to the highest state of perfection possible for finite creatures. Fate reigns in all the states below that of humanity, and they are all necessarily evil. In the states above humanity, on the contrary, unmixed good so prevails that all are necessarily good. But in the middle state of humanity, good and evil are so balanced that liberty results; and free will and consequent responsibility are born. Beings who in their ascent have arrived at the state of man, if, by purity, humility, love, and righteousness, they keep the laws of the Creator, will, after death, rise into more glorious spheres, and will continue to rise still higher, until they reach the final destination of complete and endless happiness. But if, while in the state of humanity, one perverts his reason and will, and attaches himself to evil, he will, on dying, fall into such a state of animal existence as corresponds with the baseness of his soul. This baseness may be so great as to precipitate him to the lowest point of being; but he shall climb thence through a series of births best fitted to free him from his evil propensities. Restored to the probationary state, he may fall again; but, though this should occur again and again

3 Sketch of British Bardism, prefixed to Owen's translation of the Heroic Elegies of Llywarch Hen.

4 Herbert, Essay on the Neo Druidic Heresy in Britannia.

5 Poems, Lyric and Pastoral, by Edward Williams, vol. ii. notes, pp. 194-256.

for a million of ages, the path to happiness still remains open, and he shall at last infallibly arrive at his preordained felicity, and fall nevermore. In the states superior to humanity, the soul recovers and retains the entire recollection of its former lives.

We will quote a few illustrative triads. There are three necessary purposes of metempsychosis: to collect the materials and properties of every nature; to collect the knowledge of every thing; to collect power towards removing whatever is pernicious. The knowledge of three things will subdue and destroy evil: knowledge of its cause, its nature, and its operation. Three things continually dwindle away: the Dark, the False, the Dead. Three things continually increase: Light, Truth, Life.

These will prevail, and finally absorb every thing else. The soul is an inconceivably minute particle of the most refined matter, endowed with indestructible life, at the dissolution of one body passing, according to its merits, into a higher or lower stage of existence, where it expands itself into that form which its acquired propensities necessarily give it, or into that animal in which such propensities naturally reside. The ultimate states of happiness are ceaselessly undergoing the most delightful renovations, without which, indeed, no finite being could endure the tedium of eternity. These are not, like the death of the lower states, accompanied by a suspension of memory and of conscious identity. All the innumerable modes of existence, after being cleansed from every evil, will forever remain as beautiful varieties in the creation, and will be equally esteemed, equally happy, equally fathered by the Creator. The successive occupation of these modes of existence by the celestial inhabitants of the Circle of Felicity will be one of the ways of varying what would otherwise be the intolerable monotony of eternity. The creation is yet in its infancy. The progressive operation of the providence of God will bring every being up from the great Deep to the point of liberty, and will at last secure three things for them: namely, what is most beneficial, what is most desired, and what is most beautiful. There are three stabilities of existence: what cannot be otherwise, what should not be otherwise, what cannot be imagined better; and in these all shall end, in the Circle of Felicity.

Such is a hasty synopsis of what here concerns us in the theology of the Druids. In its ground germs it was, it seems to us, unquestionably imported into Celtic thought and Cymrian song from that prolific and immemorial Hindu mind which bore Brahmanism and Buddhism as its fruit. Its ethical tone, intellectual elevation, and glorious climax are not unworthy that free hierarchy of minstrel priests whose teachings were proclaimed, as their assemblies were held, "in the face of the sun and in the eye of the light," and whose thrilling motto was, "THE TRUTH AGAINST THE WORLD."

The latest publication on the subject of old Welsh literature is "Taliesin; or, The Bards and Druids of Britain." The author, D. W. Nash, is obviously familiar with his theme, and he throws much light on many points of it. His ridicule of the arbitrary tenets and absurdities which Davies, Pughe, and others have taught in all good faith as Druidic lore and practice is richly deserved. But, despite the learning and acumen displayed in his able and valuable volume, we must think Mr. Nash goes wholly against the record in denying the doctrine of metempsychosis to the Druidic system, and goes clearly beyond the record in charging Edward Williams and others with forgery and fraud in their representations of ancient Bardic doctrines.6 In support of such grave charges direct evidence is needed; only suspicious circumstances are adduced. The non existence of public documents is perfectly reconcilable with the existence of reliable oral accounts preserved by the initiated few, one of whom Williams, with seeming sincerity, claimed to be.

6 Taliesin, ch. iv.

Etruscan Doctrine of A Future Life

ALTHOUGH the living form and written annals of Etruria perished thousands of years ago, and although but slight references to her affairs have come down to us in the documents of contemporary nations, yet, through a comparatively recent acquisition of facts, we have quite a distinct and satisfactory knowledge of her condition and experience when her power was palmiest. We follow the ancient Etruscans from the cradle to the tomb, perceiving their various national costumes, peculiar physiognomies, names and relationships, houses, furniture, ranks, avocations, games, dying scenes, burial processions, and funeral festivals. And, further than this, we follow their souls into the world to come, behold them in the hands of good or evil spirits, brought to judgment and then awarded their deserts of bliss or woe. This knowledge has been derived from their sepulchres, which still resist the corroding hand of Time when nearly every thing else Etruscan has mingled with the ground.1 They hewed their tombs in the living rock of cliffs and hills, or reared them of massive masonry. They painted or carved the walls with descriptive and symbolic scenes, and crowded their interiors with sarcophagi, cinerary urns, vases, goblets, mirrors, and a thousand other articles covered with paintings and sculptures rich in information of their authors. From a study of these things, lately disinterred in immense quantities, has been constructed, for the most part, our present acquaintance with this ancient people. Strange that, when the whole scene of life has passed away, a sepulchral world should survive and open itself to reveal the past and instruct the future! We seem to see, rising from her tombs, and moving solemnly among the mounds where all she knew or cared for has for so many ages been inurned, the ghost of a mighty people. With dejected air she leans on a ruined temple and muses; and her shadowy tears fall silently over what was and is not.

The Etruscans were accustomed to bury their deceased outside their walls; and sometimes the city of the living was thus surrounded by a far reaching city of the dead. At this day the decaying fronts of the houses of the departed, for miles upon miles along the road, admonish the living traveller. These stone hewn sepulchres crowd nearly every hill and glen. Whole acres of them are also found upon the plains, covered by several feet of earth, where every spring the plough passes over them, and every autumn the harvest waves; but the dust beneath reposes well, and knows nothing of this.

"Time buries graves. How strange! a buried grave! Death cannot from more death its own dead empire save."

The houses of the dead were built in imitation of the houses of the living, only on a smaller scale; and the interior arrangements were so closely copied that it is said the resemblance held in all but the light of day and the sound and motion of life. The images

1 Mrs. Gray, Sepulchres of Etruria.

painted or etched on the urns and sarcophagi that fill the sepulchres were portraits of the deceased, accurate likenesses, varying with age, sex, features, and expression. These personal portraits were taken and laid up here, doubtless, to preserve their remembrance when the original had crumbled to ashes. What a touching voice is this from antiquity, telling us that our poor, fond human nature was ever the same! The heart longed to be kept still in remembrance when the mortal frame was gone. But how vain the wish beyond the vanishing circle of hearts that returned its love! For, as we wander through those sepulchres now, thousands of faces thus preserved look down upon us with a mute plea, when every vestige of their names and characters is forever lost, and their very dust scattered long ago.

Along the sides of the burial chamber were ranged massive stone shelves, or sometimes benches, or tables, upon which the dead were laid in a reclining posture, to sleep their long sleep. It often happens that on these rocky biers lie the helmet, breastplate, greaves, signet ring, and weapons, or, if it be a female, the necklace, ear rings, bracelet, and other ornaments, each in its relative place, when the body they once encased or adorned has not left a single fragment behind. An antiquary once, digging for discoveries, chanced to break through the ceiling of a tomb. He looked in; and there, to quote his own words, "I beheld a warrior stretched on a couch of rock, and in a few minutes I saw him vanish under my eyes; for, as the air entered the cemetery, the armor, thoroughly oxydized, crumbled away into most minute particles, and in a short time scarcely a trace of what I had seen was left on the couch. It is impossible to express the effect this sight produced upon me."

An important element in the religion of Etruria was the doctrine of Genii, a system of household deities who watched over the fortunes of individuals and families, and who are continually shown on the engravings in the sepulchres as guiding, or actively interested in, all the incidents that happen to those under their care. It was supposed that every person had two genii allotted to him, one inciting him to good deeds, the other to bad, and both accompanying him after death to the judgment to give in their testimony and turn the scales of his fate. This belief, sincerely held, would obviously wield a powerful influence over their feelings in the conduct of life.

The doctrine concerning the gods that prevailed in this ancient nation is learned partly from the classic authors, partly from sepulchral monumental remains. It was somewhat allied to that of Egypt, but much more to that of Rome, who indeed derived a considerable portion of her mythology from this source. As in other pagan countries, a multitude of deities were worshipped here, each having his peculiar office, form of representation, and cycle of traditions. It would be useless to specify all.2 The goddess of Fate was pictured with wings, showing her swiftness, and with a hammer and nail, to typify that her decrees were unalterably fixed. The name of the supreme god was Tinia. He was the central power of the world of divinities, and was always represented, like Jupiter Tonans, with a thunderbolt in his hand. There were twelve great "consenting gods," composing the council of Tinia, and called "The Senators of Heaven." They were pitiless beings, dwelling in the inmost recesses

2 Muller, Die Etrusker, buch iii. kap. iv. sects. 7-14.

of heaven, whose names it was not lawful to pronounce. Yet they were not deemed eternal, but were supposed to rise and fall together. There was another class, called "The Shrouded Gods," still more awful, potent, and mysterious, ruling all things, and much like the inscrutable Necessity that filled the dark background of the old Greek religion. Last, but most feared and most prominent in the Etruscan mind, were the rulers of the lower regions, Mantus and Mania, the king and queen of the under world. Mantus was figured as an old man, wearing a crown, with wings at his shoulders, and a torch reversed in his hand. Mania was a fearful personage, frequently propitiated with human sacrifices. Macrobius says boys were offered up at her annual festival for a long time, till the heads of onions and poppies were substituted.3 Intimately connected with these divinities was Charun, their chief minister, the conductor of souls into the realm of the future, whose dread image, hideous as the imagination could conceive, is constantly introduced in the sepulchral pictures, and who with his attendant demons well illustrates the terrible character of the superstition which first created, then deified, and then trembled before him. Who can become acquainted with such horrors as these without drawing a freer breath, and feeling a deeper gratitude to God, as he remembers how, for many centuries now, the religion of love has been redeeming man from subterranean darkness, hatred, and fright, to the happiness and peace of good will and trust in the sweet, sunlit air of day!

That a belief in a future existence formed a prominent and controlling feature in the creed of the Etruscans4 is abundantly shown by the contents of their tombs. They would never have produced and preserved paintings, tracings, types, of such a character and in such quantities, had not the doctrines they shadow forth possessed a ruling hold upon their hopes and fears. The symbolic representations connected with this subject may be arranged in several classes. First, there is an innumerable variety of death bed scenes, many of them of the most touching and pathetic character, such as witnesses say can scarcely be looked upon without tears, others of the most appalling nature, showing perfect abandonment to fright, screams, sobbing, and despair. The last hour is described under all circumstances, coming to all sorts of persons, prince, priest, peasant, man, mother, and child. Patriarchs are dying surrounded by groups in every posture of grief; friends are waving a mournful farewell to their weeping lovers; wives are torn from the embrace of their husbands; some seem resigned and willingly going, others reluctant and driven in terror.

The next series of engravings contain descriptions and emblems of the departure of the soul from this world, and of its passage into the next. There are various symbols of this mysterious transition: one is a snake with a boy riding upon its back, its amphibious nature plainly typifying the twofold existence allotted to man. The soul is also often shown muffled in a veil and travelling garb, seated upon a horse, and followed by a slave carrying a large sack of provisions, an emblem of the long and dreary journey about to be taken. Horses are depicted harnessed to cars in which disembodied spirits are seated, a token of the swift ride

3 Saturnal. lib. i. cap. 7.

4 Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria, ch. xii.

of the dead to their doom. Sometimes the soul is gently invited, or led, by a good spirit, sometimes beaten, or dragged away, by the squalid and savage Charun, the horrible death king, or one of his ministers; sometimes a good and an evil spirit are seen contending for the soul; sometimes the soul is seen, on its knees, beseeching the aid of its good genius and grasping at his departing wing, as, with averted face, he is retiring; and sometimes the good and the evil spirits are leading it away together, to abide the sentence of the tribunal of Mantus. Whole companies of souls are also set forth marching in procession, under the guidance of a winged genius, to their subterranean abode.

Finally, there is a class of representations depicting the ultimate fate of souls after judgment has been passed. Some are shown seated at banquet, in full enjoyment, according to their ideas of bliss. Some are shown undergoing punishment, beaten with hammers, stabbed and torn by black demons. There are no proofs that the Etruscans believed in the translation of any soul to the abode of the gods above the sky, no signs of any path rising to the supernal heaven; but they clearly expected just discriminations to be made in the under world. Into that realm many gates are shown leading, some of them peaceful, inviting, surrounded by apparent emblems of deliverance, rest, and blessedness; others yawning, terrific, engirt by the heads of gnashing beasts and furies threatening their victim.

"Shown is the progress of the guilty soul
From earth's worn threshold to the throne of doom;
Here the black genius to the dismal goal
Drags the wan spectre from the unsheltering tomb,
While from the side it never more may warn
The better angel, sorrowing, flees forlorn.
There (closed the eighth) seven yawning gates reveal
The sevenfold anguish that awaits the lost.
Closed the eighth gate, for there the happy dwell.
No glimpse of joy beyond makes horror less."

In these lines, from Bulwer's learned and ornate epic of King Arthur, the dire severity of the Etruscan doctrine of a future life is well indicated, with the local imagery of some parts of it, and the impenetrable obscurity which enwraps the great sequel.

Scandinavian Doctrine of A Future Life

MANY considerations combine to make it seem likely that at an early period a migration took place from Southern Asia to Northern Europe, which constituted the commencement of what afterwards grew to be the great Gothic family. The correspondence of many of the leading doctrines and symbols of the Scandinavian mythology with well known Persian and Buddhist notions notions of a purely fanciful and arbitrary character is too peculiar, apparently, to admit of any other explanation.1 But the germs of thought and imagination transplanted thus from the warm and gorgeous climes of the East to the snowy mountains of Norway and the howling ridges of Iceland, obtained a fresh development, with numerous modifications and strange additions, from the new life, climate, scenery, and customs to which they were there exposed. The temptation to predatory habits and strife, the necessity for an intense though fitful activity arising from their geographical situation, the fierce spirit nourished in them by their actual life, the tremendous phenomena of the Arctic world around them, all these influences break out to our view in the poetry, and are reflected by their results in the religion, of the Northmen.

From the flame world, Muspelheim, in the south, in which Surtur, the dread fire king, sits enthroned, flowed down streams of heat. From the mist world, Niflheim, in the north, in whose central caldron, Hvergelmir, dwells the gloomy dragon Nidhogg, rose floods of cold vapor. The fire and mist meeting in the yawning abyss, Ginungagap, after various stages of transition, formed the earth. There were then three principal races of beings: men, whose dwelling was Midgard; Jotuns, who occupied Utgard; and the Asir, whose home was Asgard. The Jotuns, or demons, seem to have been originally personifications of darkness, cold, and storm, the disturbing forces of nature, whatever is hostile to fruitful life and peace. They were frost giants ranged in the outer wastes around the habitable fields of men. The Asir, or gods, on the other hand, appear to have been personifications of light, and law, and benignant power, the orderly energies of the universe. Between the Jotuns and the Asir there is an implacable contest.2 The rainbow, Bifrost, is a bridge leading from earth up to the skyey dwelling place of the Asir; and their sentinel, Heimdall, whose senses are so acute that he can hear the grass spring in the meadows and the wool grow on the backs of the sheep, keeps incessant watch upon it. Their chief deity, the father Zeus of the Northern pantheon, was Odin, the god of war, who wakened the spirit of battle by flinging his spear over the heads of the people, its inaudible hiss from heaven being as the song of Ate let loose on earth. Next in rank was Thor, the personification of the exploding tempest. The crashing echoes of the thunder are his chariot wheels rattling through the cloudy halls of Thrudheim. Whenever the lightning strikes a cliff or an iceberg, then Thor has flung his hammer, Mjolnir, at Joton's head.

1 Vans Kennedy, Ancient and Hindu Mythology, pp. 452, 463-464.

2 Thorpe, Northern Mythology, vol. ii.

Balder was the god of innocence and gentleness, fairest, kindest, purest of beings. Light emanated from him, and all things loved him. After Christianity was established in the North, Jesus was called the White Christ, or the new Balder. The appearance of Balder amidst the frenzied and bloody divinities of the Norse creed is beautiful as the dew cool moon hanging calmly over the lurid storm of Vesuvius. He was entitled the "Band in the Wreath of the Gods," because with his fate that of all the rest was bound up. His death, ominously foretold from eldest antiquity, would be the signal for the ruin of the universe. Asa Loki was the Momus Satan or Devil Buffoon of the Scandinavian mythology, the half amusing, half horrible embodiment of wit, treachery, and evil; now residing with the gods in heaven, now accompanying Thor on his frequent adventures, now visiting and plotting with his own kith and kin in frosty Jotunheim, beyond the earth environing sea, or in livid Helheim deep beneath the domain of breathing humanity.3

With a Jotun woman, Angerbode, or Messenger of Evil, Loki begets three fell children. The first is Fenris, a savage wolf, so large that nothing but space can hold him. The second is Jormungandur, who, with his tail in his mouth, fills the circuit of the ocean. He is described by Sir Walter Scott as

"That great sea snake, tremendous curl'd, Whose monstrous circle girds the world."

The third is Hela, the grim goddess of death, whose ferocious aspect is half of a pale blue and half of a ghastly white, and whose empire, stretching below the earth through Niflheim, is full of freezing vapors and discomfortable sights. Her residence is the spacious under world; her court yard, faintness; her threshold, precipice; her door, abyss; her hall, pain; her table, hunger; her knife, starvation; her man servant, delay; her handmaid, slowness; her bed, sickness; her pillow, anguish; and her canopy, curse. Still lower than her house is an abode yet more fearful and loathsome. In Nastrond, or strand of corpses, stands a hall, the conception of which is prodigiously awful and enormously disgusting. It is plaited of serpents' backs, wattled together like wicker work, whose heads turn inwards, vomiting poison. In the lake of venom thus deposited within these immense wriggling walls of snakes the worst of the damned wade and swim.

High up in the sky is Odin's hall, the magnificent Valhalla, or temple of the slain. The columns supporting its ceiling are spears. It is roofed with shields, and the ornaments on its benches are coats of mail. The Valkyrs are Odin's battle maids, choosers of heroes for his banquet rooms. With helmets on their heads, in bloody harness, mounted on shadowy steeds, surrounded by meteoric lightnings, and wielding flaming swords, they hover over the conflict and point the way to Valhalla to the warriors who fall. The valiant souls thus received to Odin's presence are called Einheriar, or the elect. The Valkyrs, as white clad virgins with flowing ringlets, wait on them in the capacity of cup bearers. Each morning, at the crowing

3 Oehlenschlager, Gods of the North. This celebrated and brilliant poem, with the copious notes in Frye's translation, affords the English reader a full conception of the Norse pantheon and its salient adventures.

of a huge gold combed cock, the well armed Einheriar rush through Valhalla's five hundred and forty doors into a great court yard, and pass the day in merciless fighting. However pierced and hewn in pieces in these fearful encounters, at evening every wound is healed, and they return into the hall whole, and are seated, according to their exploits, at a luxurious feast. The perennial boar Sehrimnir, deliciously cooked by Andrimnir, though devoured every night, is whole again every morning and ready to be served anew. The two highest joys these terrible berserkers and vikings knew on earth composed their experience in heaven: namely, a battle by day and a feast by night. It is a vulgar error, long prevalent, that the Valhalla heroes drink out of the skulls of their enemies. This notion, though often refuted, still lingers in the popular mind. It arose from the false translation of a phrase in the death song of Ragnar Lodbrok, the famous sea king, "Soon shall we drink from the curved trees of the head," which, as a figure for the usual drinking horns, was erroneously rendered by Olaus Wormius, "Soon shall we drink from the hollow cups of skulls." It is not the heads of men, but the horns of beasts, from which the Einheriar quaff Heidrun's mead.4

No women being ever mentioned as gaining admission to Valhalla or joining in the joys of the Einheriar, some writers have affirmed that, according to the Scandinavian faith, women had no immortal souls, or, at all events, were excluded from heaven. The charge is as baseless in this instance as when brought against Mohammedanism. Valhalla was the exclusive abode of the most daring champions; but Valhalla was not the whole of heaven. Vingolf, the Hall of Friends, stood beside the Hall of the Slain, and was the assembling place of the goddesses.5 There, in the palace of Freya, the souls of noble women were received after death. The elder Edda says that Thor guided Roska, a swift footed peasant girl who had attended him as a servant on various excursions, to Freya's bower, where she was welcomed, and where she remained forever. The virgin goddess Gefjone, the Northern Diana, also had a residence in heaven, and all who died maidens repaired thither.6 The presence of virgin throngs with Gefjone, and the society of noble matrons in Vingolf, shed a tender gleam across the carnage and carousal of Valhalla. More is said of the latter the former is scarcely visible to us now because the only record we have of the Norse faith is that contained in the fragmentary strains of ferocious Skalds, who sang chiefly to warriors, and the staple matter of whose songs was feats of martial prowess or entertaining mythological stories. Furthermore, there is above the heaven of the Asir a yet higher heaven, the abode of the far removed and inscrutable being, the rarely named Omnipotent One, the true All Father, who is at last to come forth above the ruins of the universe to judge and sentence all creatures and to rebuild a better world. In this highest region towers the imperishable gold roofed hall, Gimle, brighter than the sun. There is no hint anywhere in the Skaldic strains that good women are repulsed from this dwelling.

According to the rude morality of the people and the time, the contrasted conditions of admission to the upper paradise or condemnation to the infernal realm were the admired

4 Pigott, Manual of Scandinavian Mythology, p. 65.

5 Keyser, Religion of the Northmen, trans. by Pennock, p. 149.

6 Pigott, p. 245.

virtues of strength, open handed frankness, reckless audacity, or the hated vices of feebleness, cowardice, deceit, humility. Those who have won fame by puissant feats and who die in battle are snatched by the Valkyrs from the sod to Valhalla. To die in arms is to be chosen of Odin,

"In whose hall of gold The steel clad ghosts their wonted orgies hold. Some taunting jest begets the war of words: In clamorous fray they grasp their gleamy swords, And, as upon the earth, with fierce delight By turns renew the banquet and the fight."

All, on the contrary, who, after lives of ignoble labor or despicable ease, die of sickness, sink from their beds to the dismal house of Hela. In this gigantic vaulted cavern the air smells like a newly stirred grave; damp fogs rise, hollow sighs are heard, the only light comes from funeral tapers held by skeletons; the hideous queen, whom Thor eulogizes as the Scourger of Cowards, sits on a throne of skulls, and sways a sceptre, made of a dead man's bone bleached in the moonlight, over a countless multitude of shivering ghosts.7 But the Norse moralists plunge to a yet darker doom those guilty of perjury, murder, or adultery. In Nastrond's grisly hail, which is shaped of serpents' spines, and through whose loop holes drops of poison drip, where no sunlight ever reaches, they welter in a venom sea and are gnawed by the dragon Nidhogg.8 In a word, what to the crude moral sense of the martial Goth seemed piety, virtue, led to heaven; what seemed blasphemy, baseness, led to hell.

The long war between good and evil, light and darkness, order and discord, the Asir and the Jotuns, was at last to reach a fatal crisis and end in one universal battle, called Ragnarokur, or the "Twilight of the Gods," whose result would be the total destruction of the present creation. Portentous inklings of this dread encounter were abroad among all beings. A shuddering anticipation of it sat in a lowering frown of shadow on the brows of the deities. In preparation for Ragnarokur, both parties anxiously secured all the allies they could. Odin therefore joyously welcomes every valiant warrior to Valhalla, as a recruit for his hosts on that day when Fenris shall break loose. When Hakon Jarl fell, the Valkyrs shouted, "Now does the force of the gods grow stronger when they have brought Hakon to their home." A Skald makes Odin say, on the death of King Eirilc Blood Axe, as an excuse for permitting such a hero to be slain, "Our lot is uncertain: the gray wolf gazes on the host of the gods;" that is, we shall need help at Ragnarokur. But as all the brave and magnanimous champions received to Valhalla were enlisted on the side of the Asir, so all the miserable cowards, invalids, and wretches doomed to Hela's house would fight for the Jotuns. From day to day the opposed armies, above and below, increase in numbers. Some grow impatient, some tremble. When Balder dies, and the ship Nagelfra is completed, the hour of infinite suspense will strike. Nagelfra is a vessel for the conveyance of the hosts of frost giants to the battle. It is to be built of dead men's nails: therefore no one should die with unpaired nails, for if he does he

7 Pigott, pp. 137, 138.

8 The Voluspa, strophes 34, 35.

furnishes materials for the construction of that ship which men and gods wish to have finished as late as possible.9

At length Loki treacherously compasses the murder of Balder. The frightful foreboding which at once flies through all hearts finds voice in the dark "Raven Song" of Odin. Having chanted this obscure wail in heaven, he mounts his horse and rides down the bridge to Helheim. With resistless incantations he raises from the grave, where she has been interred for ages, wrapt in snows, wet with the rains and the dews, an aged vala or prophetess, and forces her to answer his questions. With appalling replies he returns home, galloping up the sky. And now the crack of doom is at hand. Heimdall hurries up and down the bridge Bifrost, blowing his horn till its rousing blasts echo through the universe. The wolf Skoll, from whose pursuit the frightened sun has fled round the heavens since the first dawn, overtakes and devours his bright prey. Nagelfra, with the Jotun hosts on board, sails swiftly from Utgard. Loki advances at the head of the troops of Hela. Fenris snaps his chain and rushes forth with jaws so extended that the upper touches the firmament, while the under rests on the earth; and he would open them wider if there were room. Jormungandur writhes his entire length around Midgard, and, lifting his head, blows venom over air and sea. Suddenly, in the south, heaven cleaves asunder, and through the breach the sons of Muspel, the flame genii, ride out on horseback with Surtur at their head, his sword outflashing the sun. Now Odin leads forward the Asir and the Einheriar, and on the predestined plain of Vigrid the strife commences. Heimdall and Loki mutually slay each other. Thor kills Jormungandur; but as the monster expires he belches a flood of venom, under which the matchless thunder god staggers and falls dead. Fenris swallows Odin, but is instantly rent in twain by Vidar, the strong silent one, Odin's dumb son, who well avenges his father on the wolf by splitting the jaws that devoured him. Then Surtur slings fire abroad, and the reek rises around all things. Iggdrasill, the great Ash Tree of Existence, totters, but stands. All below perishes. Finally, the unnamable Mighty One appears, to judge the good and the bad. The former hie from fading Valhalla to eternal Gimle, where all joy is to be theirs forever; the latter are stormed down from Hela to Nastrond, there, "under curdling mists, in a snaky marsh whose waves freeze black and thaw in blood, to be scared forever, for punishment, with terrors ever new." All strife vanishes in endless peace. By the power of All Father, a new earth, green and fair, shoots up from the sea, to be inhabited by a new race of men free from sorrow. The foul, spotted dragon Nidhogg flies over the plains, bearing corpses and Death itself away upon his wings, and sinks out of sight.10

It has generally been asserted, in consonance with the foregoing view, that the Scandinavians believed that the good and the bad, respectively in Gimle and Nastrond, would experience everlasting rewards and punishments. But Blackwell, the recent editor of Percy's translation of Mallet's Northern Antiquities as published in Bohn's Antiquarian Library, argues with great force against the correctness of the assertion.11 The point is

9 Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, s. 775, note.

10 Keyser, Religion of the Northmen, part i. ch. vi.

11 Pp. 497-503.

dubious; but it is of no great importance, since we know that the spirit and large outlines of their faith have been reliably set forth. That faith, rising from the impetuous blood and rude mind of the martial race of the North, gathering wonderful embellishments from the glowing imagination of the Skalds, reacting, doubly nourished the fierce valor and fervid fancy from which it sprang. It drove the dragon prows of the Vikings marauding over the seas. It rolled the Goths' conquering squadrons across the nations, from the shores of Finland and Skager Rack to the foot of the Pyrenees and the gates of Rome. The very ferocity with which it blazed consumed itself, and the conquest of the flickering faith by Christianity was easy. During the dominion of this religion, the earnest sincerity with which its disciples received it appears alike from the fearful enterprises it prompted them to, the iron hardihood and immeasurable contempt of death it inspired in them, and the superstitious observances which, with pains and expenses, they scrupulously kept. They buried, with the dead, gold, useful implements, ornaments, that they might descend, furnished and shining, to the halls of Hela. With a chieftain they buried a pompous horse and splendid armor, that he might ride like a warrior into Valhalla. The true Scandinavian, by age or sickness deprived of dying in battle, ran himself through, or flung himself from a precipice, in this manner to make amends for not expiring in armed strife, if haply thus he might snatch a late seat among the Einheriar. With the same motive the dying sea king had himself laid on his ship, alone, and launched away, with out stretched sails, with a slow fire in the hold, which, when he was fairly out at sea, should flame up and, as Carlyle says, "worthily bury the old hero at once in the sky and in the ocean." Surely then, if ever, "the kingdom of heaven suffered violence, and the violent took it by force."

Egyptian Doctrine of A Future Life

IN attempting to understand the conceptions of the ancient inhabitants of Egypt on the subject of a future life, we are first met by the inquiry why they took such great pains to preserve the bodies of their dead. It has been supposed that no common motive could have animated them to such lavish expenditure of money, time, and labor as the process of embalming required. It has been taken for granted that only some recondite theological consideration could explain this phenomenon. Accordingly, it is now the popular belief that the Egyptians were so scrupulous in embalming their dead and storing them in repositories of eternal stone, because they believed that the departed souls would at some future time come back and revivify their former bodies, if these were kept from decay. This hypothesis seems to us as false as it is gratuitous. In the first place, there is no evidence of it whatever, neither written testimony nor circumstantial hint. Herodotus tells us, "The Egyptians say the soul, on the dissolution of the body, always enters into some other animal then born, and, having passed in rotation through the various terrestrial, aquatic, and arial beings, again enters the body of a man then born."1 There is no assertion that, at the end of the three thousand years occupied by this circuit, the soul will re enter its former body. The plain inference, on the contrary, is that it will be born in a new body, as at each preceding step in the series of its transmigrations. Secondly, the mutilation of the body in embalming forbids the belief in its restoration to life. The brain was extracted, and the skull stuffed with cotton. The entrails were taken out, and sometimes, according to Porphyry2 and Plutarch,3 thrown into the Nile; sometimes, as modern examinations have revealed, bound up in four packages and either replaced in the cavity of the stomach or laid in four vases beside the mummy. It is absurd to attribute, without clear cause, to an enlightened people the belief that these stacks of brainless, eviscerated mummies, dried and shrunken in ovens, coated with pitch, bound up in a hundredfold bandages, would ever revive, and, inhabited by the same souls that fled them thirty centuries before, again walk the streets of Thebes! Besides, a third consideration demands notice. By the theory of metempsychosis universally acknowledged to have been held by the Egyptians it is taught that souls at death, either immediately, or after a temporary sojourn in hell or heaven has struck the balance of their merits, are born in fresh bodies; never that they return into their old ones. But the point is set beyond controversy by the discovery of inscriptions, accompanying pictures of scenes illustrating the felicity of blessed souls in heaven, to this effect: "Their bodies shall repose in their tombs forever; they live in the celestial regions eternally, enjoying the presence of the Supreme God." 4 A writer on this subject says, "A people who believed in the transmigration

1 Herod. lib. ii. cap. 123.

2 De Abstinentia, lib. iv. cap. 10.

3 Banquet of the Seven Wise Men.

4 Champollion, Descr. de l'Egypte, Antiq. tom ii. p. 132. Stuart's Trans. of Greppo's Essay, p. 262.

of souls would naturally take extraordinary pains to preserve the body from putrefaction, in the hope of the soul again joining the body it had quitted." The remark is intrinsically untrue, because the doctrine of transmigration coexists in reconciled belief with the observed law of birth, infancy, and growth, not with the miracle of transition into reviving corpses. The notion is likewise historically refuted by the fact that the believers of that doctrine in the thronged East have never preserved the body, but at once buried or burned it. The whole Egyptian theology is much more closely allied to the Hindu, which excluded, than to the Persian, which emphasized, the resurrection of the body.

Another theory which has been devised to explain the purpose of Egyptian embalming, is that "it was to unite the soul permanently to its body, and keep the vital principle from perishing or transmigrating; the body and soul ran together through the journey of the dead and its dread ordeal." 5 This arbitrary guess is incredible. The preservation of the body does not appear in any way not even to the rawest fancy to detain or unite the soul with it; for the thought is unavoidable that it is precisely the absence of the soul which constitutes death. Again: such an explanation of the motive for embalming cannot be correct, because in the hieroglyphic representations of the passage to the judgment the separate soul is often depicted as hovering over the body, 6 or as kneeling before the judges, or as pursuing its adventures through the various realms of the creation. "When the body is represented," Champollion says, "it is as an aid to the spectator, and not as teaching a bodily resurrection. Sharpe's opinion that the picture of a bird poised over the mouth of a mummy, with the emblems of breath and life in its claws, implies the doctrine of a general physical resurrection, is an inferential leap of the most startling character. What proof is there that the symbol denotes this? Hundreds of paintings in the tombs show souls undergoing their respective allotments in the other world while their bodily mummies are quiet in the sepulchres of the present. In his treatise on "Isis and Osiris," Plutarch writes, "The Egyptians believe that while the bodies of eminent men are buried in the earth their souls are stars shining in heaven." It is equally nonsensical in itself and unwarranted by evidence to imagine that, in the Egyptian faith, embalming either retained the soul in the body or preserved the body for a future return of the soul. Who can believe that it was for either of those purposes that they embalmed the multitudes of animals whose mummies the explorer is still turning up? They preserved cats, hawks, bugs, crocodiles, monkeys, bulls, with as great pains as they did men.7 When the Canary Islands were first visited, it was found that their inhabitants had a custom of carefully embalming the dead. The same was the case among the Peruvians, whose vast cemeteries remain to this day crowded with mummies. But the expectation of a return of the souls into these preserved bodies is not to be ascribed to those peoples. Herodotus informs us that "the Ethiopians, having dried the bodies of their dead, coat them with white plaster, which they paint with colors to the likeness of the deceased and encase in a transparent substance. The dead, thus kept from being offensive, and yet plainly visible, are retained a

5 Bonomi and Arundel on Egyptian Antiq., p. 46.

6 Pl. xxxiii. in Lepsius' Todtenb. der. Agypter.

7 Pettigrew, Hist of Egyptian Mummies, ch. xii.

whole year in the houses of their nearest relatives. Afterwards they are carried out and placed upright in the tombs around the city." 8 It has been argued, because the Egyptians expended so much in preparing lasting tombs and in adorning their walls with varied embellishments, that they must have thought the soul remained in the body, a conscious occupant of the dwelling place provided for it.9 As well might it be argued that, because the ancient savage tribes on the coast of South America, who obtained their support by fishing, buried fish hooks and bait with their dead, they supposed the dead bodies occupied themselves in their graves by fishing! The adornment of the tomb, so lavish and varied with the Egyptians, was a gratification of the spontaneous workings of fancy and affection, and needs no far fetched explanation. Every nation has its funeral customs and its rites of sepulture, many of which would be as difficult of explanation as those of Egypt. The Scandinavian sea king was sometimes buried, in his ship, in a grave dug on some headland overlooking the ocean. The Scythians buried their dead in rolls of gold, sometimes weighing forty or fifty solid pounds. Diodorus the Sicilian says, "The Egyptians, laying the embalmed bodies of their ancestors in noble monuments, see the true visages and expressions of those who died ages before them. So they take almost as great pleasure in viewing their bodily proportions and the lineaments of their faces as if they were still living among them." 10 That instinct which leads us to obtain portraits of those we love, and makes us unwilling to part even with their lifeless bodies, was the cause of embalming. The bodies thus prepared, we know from the testimony of ancient authors, were kept in the houses of their children or kindred, until a new generation, "who knew not Joseph," removed them. Then nothing could be more natural than that the priesthood should take advantage of the custom, so associated with sacred sentiments, and throw theological sanctions over it, shroud it in mystery, and secure a monopoly of the power and profit arising from it. It is not improbable, too, as has been suggested, that hygienic considerations, expressing themselves in political laws and priestly precepts, may at first have had an influence in establishing the habit of embalming, to prevent the pestilences apt to arise in such a climate from the decay of animal substances.

There is great diversity of opinion among Egyptologists on this point. One thinks that embalming was supposed to keep the soul in the body until after the funeral judgment and interment, but that, when the corpse was laid in its final receptacle, the soul proceeded to accompany the sun in its daily and nocturnal circuit, or to transmigrate through various animals and deities. Another imagines that the process of embalming was believed to secure the repose of the soul in the other world, exempt from transmigrations, so long as the body was kept from decay.11 Perhaps the different notions on this subject attributed by modern authors to the Egyptians may all have prevailed among them at different times or among distinct sects. But it seems most likely, as we have said, that embalming first arose from physical and sentimental considerations naturally operating, rather than from any

8 Lib. iii. cap. 24.

9 Kenrick, Ancient Egypt, vol. i. ch. xxi. sect. iii.

10 Lib. i. cap. 7.

11 Library of Entertaining Knowledge, vol. ii. ch. iii.

theological doctrine carefully devised; although, after the priesthood appropriated the business, it is altogether probable that they interwove it with an artificial and elaborate system of sacerdotal dogmas, in which was the hiding of the national power.

The second question that arises is, What was the significance of the funeral ceremonies celebrated by the Egyptians over their dead? When the body had been embalmed, it was presented before a tribunal of forty two judges sitting in state on the eastern borders of the lake Acherusia. They made strict inquiry into the conduct and character of the deceased. Any one might make complaint against him, or testify in his behalf. If it was found that he had been wicked, had died in debt, or was otherwise unworthy, he was deprived of honorable burial and ignominiously thrown into a ditch. This was called Tartar, from the wailings the sentence produced among his relatives. But if he was found to have led an upright life, and to have been a good man, the honors of a regular interment were decreed him. The cemetery a large plain environed with trees and lined with canals lay on the western side of the lake, and was named Elisout, or rest. It was reached by a boat, the funeral barge, in which no one could cross without an order from the judges and the payment of a small fee. In these and other particulars some of the scenes supposed to be awaiting the soul in the other world were dramatically shadowed forth. Each rite was a symbol of a reality existing, in solemn correspondence, in the invisible state. What the priests did over the body on earth the judicial deities did over the soul in Amenthe. It seems plain that the Greeks derived many of their notions concerning the fate and state of the dead from Egypt. Hades corresponds with Amenthe; Pluto, with the subterranean Osiris; Mercury psychopompos, with Anubis, "the usher of souls;" Aacus, Minos, and Rhadamanthos, with the three assistant gods who help in weighing the soul and present the result to Osiris; Tartarus, to the ditch Tartar; Charon's ghost boat over the Styx, to the barge conveying the mummy to the tomb; Cerberus, to Oms; Acheron, to Acherusia; the Elysian Fields, to Elisout.12 Kenrick thinks the Greeks may have developed these views for themselves, without indebtedness to Egypt. But the notions were in existence among the Egyptians at least twelve hundred years before they can be traced among the Greeks.13 And they are too arbitrary and systematic to have been independently constructed by two nations. Besides, Herodotus positively affirms that they were derived from Egypt. Several other ancient authors also state this; and nearly every modern writer on the subject agrees in it.

The triumphs of modern investigation into the antiquities of Egypt, unlocking the hieroglyphics and lifting the curtain from the secrets of ages, have unveiled to us a far more full and satisfactory view of the Egyptian doctrine of the future life than can be constructed from the narrow glimpses afforded by the accounts of the old Greek authorities. Three sources of knowledge have been laid open to us. First, the papyrus rolls, one of which was placed in the bosom of every mummy. This roll, covered with hieroglyphics, is called the funeral ritual, or book of the dead. It served as a passport through the burial rites. It contained the names of the deceased and his parents, a series of prayers he was to recite

12 Spineto on Egyptian Antiq, Lectures IV., V.

13 Wilkinson, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, 2d Series, vol. i. ch. 12.

before the various divinities he would meet on his journey, and representations of some of the adventures awaiting him in the unseen state.14 Secondly, the ornamental cases in which the mummies are enclosed are painted all over with scenes setting forth the realities and events to which the soul of the dead occupant has passed in the other life.15 Thirdly, the various fates of souls are sculptured and painted on the walls in the tombs, in characters which have been deciphered during the present century:16

"Those mystic, stony volumes on the walls long writ, Whose sense is late reveal'd to searching modern wit."

Combining the information thus obtained, we learn that, according to the Egyptian representation, the soul is led by the god Thoth into Amenthe, the infernal world, the entrance to which lies in the extreme west, on the farther side of the sea, where the sun goes down under the earth. It was in accordance with this supposition that Herod caused to be engraved, on a magnificent monument erected to his deceased wife, the line, "Zeus, this blooming woman sent beyond the ocean." 17 At the entrance sits a wide throated monster, over whose head is the inscription, "This is the devourer of many who go into Amenthe, the lacerator of the heart of him who comes with sins to the house of justice." The soul next kneels before the forty two assessors of Osiris, with deprecating asseverations and intercessions. It then comes to the final trial in the terrible Hall of the two Truths, the approving and the condemning; or, as it is differently named, the Hall of the double Justice, the rewarding and the punishing. Here the three divinities Horns, Anubis, and Thoth proceed to weigh the soul in the balance. In one scale an image of Thmei, the goddess of Truth, is placed; in the other, a heart shaped vase, symbolizing the heart of the deceased with all the actions of his earthly life. Then happy is he "Who, weighed 'gainst Truth, down dips the awful scale."

Thoth notes the result on a tablet, and the deceased advances with it to the foot of the throne on which sits Osiris, lord of the dead, king of Amenthe. He pronounces the decisive sentence, and his assistants see that it is at once executed. The condemned soul is either scourged back to the earth straightway, to live again in the form of a vile animal, as some of the emblems appear to denote; or plunged into the tortures of a horrid hell of fire and devils below, as numerous engravings set forth; or driven into the atmosphere, to be vexed and tossed by tempests, violently whirled in blasts and clouds, till its sins are expiated, and another probation granted through a renewed existence in human form.

We have two accounts of the Egyptian divisions of the universe. According to the first view, they conceived the creation to consist of three grand departments. First came the earth, or zone of trial, where men live on probation. Next was the atmosphere, or zone of temporal

14 Das Todtenbuch der Agypter, edited with an introduction by Dr. Lepsius.

15 Ch. ix. of Pettigrew's History of Egyptian Mummies.

16 Champollion's Letter, dated Thebes, May 16, 1829. An abstract of this letter may be found in Stuart's trans. of Greppo's Essay on Champollion's Hieroglyphic System, appendix, note N.

17 Basnage, Hist. of the Jews, lib. ii. ch. 12, sect. 19.

punishment, where souls are afflicted for their sins. The ruler of this girdle of storms was Pooh, the overseer of souls in penance. Such a notion is found in some of the later Greek philosophers, and in the writings of the Alexandrian Jews, who undoubtedly drew it from the priestly science of Egypt. Every one will recollect how Paul speaks of "the prince of the power off the air." And Shakspeare makes the timid Claudio shrink from the verge of death with horror, lest his soul should, through ages,

"Be imprison'd in the viewless winds, And blown with restless violence round about The pendent world."

After their purgation in this region, all the souls live again on earth by transmigration.18 The third realm was in the serene blue sky among the stars, the zone of blessedness, where the accepted dwell in immortal peace and joy. Eusebius says, "The Egyptians represented the universe by two circles, one within the other, and a serpent with the head of a hawk twining his folds around them," thus forming three spheres, earth, firmament, divinity.

But the representation most frequent and imposing is that which pictures the creation simply as having the earth in the centre, and the sun with his attendants as circulating around it in the brightness of the superior, and the darkness of the infernal, firmament. Souls at death pass down through the west into Amenthe, and are tried. If condemned, they are either sent back to the earth, or confined in the nether space for punishment. If justified, they join the blissful company of the Sun God, and rise with him through the east to journey along his celestial course. The upper hemisphere is divided into twelve equal parts, corresponding with the twelve hours of the day. At the gate of each of these golden segments a sentinel god is stationed, to whom the newly arriving soul must give its credentials to secure a passage. In like manner, the lower hemisphere is cut into the same number of gloomy sections, corresponding with the twelve hours of the night. Daily the chief divinity, in robes of light, traverses the beaming zones of the blessed, where they hunt and fish, or plough and sow, reap and gather, in the Fields of the Sun on the banks of the heavenly Nile. Nightly, arrayed in deep black from head to foot, he traverses the dismal zones of the damned, where they undergo appropriate retributions. Thus the future destiny of man was sublimely associated with the march of the sun through the upper and lower hemispheres.19 Astronomy was a part of the Egyptian's theology. He regarded the stars not figuratively, but literally, as spirits and pure genii; the great planets as deities. The calendar was a religious chart, each month, week, day, hour, being the special charge and stand point of a god.20

There was much poetic beauty and ethical power in these doctrines and symbols. The necessity of virtue, the dread ordeals of the grave, the certainty of retribution, the mystic circuits of transmigration, a glorious immortality, the paths of planets and gods and souls through creation, all were impressively enounced, dramatically shown.

18 Liber Metempsychosis Veterum Agyptiorum, edited and translated into Latin from the funeral papyri by H. Brugsch.

19 L'Univers, Egypte Ancienne, par Champollion Figeac, pp. 123 145.

20 Agyptische Glaubenslehre von Dr. Ed. Roth, ss. 171, 174.

"The Egyptain soul sail'd o'er the skyey sea
In ark of crystal, mann'd by beamy gods,
To drag the deeps of space and net the stars,
Where, in their nebulous shoals, they shore the void
And through old Night's Typhonian blindness shine.
Then, solarized, he press'd towards the sun,
And, in the heavenly Hades, hall of God,
Had final welcome of the firmament."

This solemn linking of the fate of man with the astronomic universe, this grand blending of the deepest of moral doctrines with the most august of physical sciences, plainly betrays the brain and hand of that hereditary hierarchy whose wisdom was the wonder of the ancient world. Osburn thinks the localization of Amenthe in the west may have arisen in the following way. Some superstitious Egyptians, travelling westwards, at twilight, on the great marshes haunted by the strange gray white ibis, saw troops of these silent, solemn, ghostlike birds, motionless or slow stalking, and conceived them to be souls waiting for the funeral rites to be paid, that they might sink with the setting sun to their destined abode.21

That such a system of belief was too complex and elaborate to have been a popular development is evident. But that it was really held by the people there is no room to doubt. Parts of it were publicly enacted on festival days by multitudes numbering more than a hundred thousand. Parts of it were dimly shadowed out in the secret recesses of temples, surrounded by the most astonishing accompaniments that unrivalled learning, skill, wealth, and power could contrive. Its authority commanded the allegiance, its charm fascinated the imagination, of the people. Its force built the pyramids, and enshrined whole generations of Egypt's embalmed population in richly adorned sepulchres of everlasting rock. Its substance of esoteric knowledge and faith, in its form of exoteric imposture and exhibition, gave it vitality and endurance long. In the vortex of change and decay it sank at last. And now it is only after its secrets have been buried for thirty centuries that the exploring genius of modern times has brought its hidden hieroglyphics to light, and taught us what were the doctrines originally contained in the altar lore of those priestly schools which once dotted the plains of the Delta and studded the banks of eldest Nile, where now, disfigured and gigantic, the solemn

"Old Syhinxes lift their countenances bland Athwart the river sea and sea of sand."

21 Monumental History of Egypt, vol. i. ch. 8.

Mohammedan Doctrine of A Future Life

ISLAM has been a mighty power in the earth since the middle of the seventh century. A more energetic and trenchant faith than it was for eight hundred years has not appeared among men. Finally expelled from its startling encampments in Spain and the Archipelago, it still rules with tenacious hold over Turkey, a part of Tartary, Palestine, Persia, Arabia, and large portions of Africa. At this moment, as to adherence and influence, it is subordinate only to the two foremost religious systems in the world, Buddhism and Christianity. The dogmatic structure of Islam as a theology and its practical power as an experimental religion offer a problem of the gravest interest. But we must hasten on to give an exposition of merely those elements in it which are connected with its doctrine of a future life.

It is a matter of entire notoriety that there is but the least amount of originality in the tenets of the Mohammedan faith. The blending together of those tenets was distinctive, the unifying soul breathed into them was a new creation, and the great aim to which the whole was subordinated was peculiar; but the component doctrines themselves, with slight exception, existed before as avowed principles in the various systems of belief and practice that prevailed around. Mohammed adopted many of the notions and customs of the pagan Arabs, the central dogma of the Jews as to the unity of God, most of the traditions of the Hebrew Scriptures, innumerable fanciful conceits of the Rabbins,1 whole doctrines of the Magians with their details, some views of the Gnostics, and extensive portions of a corrupted Christianity, grouping them together with many modifications of his own, and such additions as his genius afforded and his exigencies required. The motley strangely results in a compact and systematic working faith.

The Islamites are divided into two great sects, the Sunnees and the Sheeahs. The Arabs, Tartars, and Turks are Sunnees, are dominant in numbers and authority, are strict literalists, and are commonly considered the orthodox believers. The Persians are Sheeahs, are inferior in point of numbers, are somewhat freer in certain interpretations, placing a mass of tradition, like the Jewish Mischna, on a level with the Koran,2 and are usually regarded as heretical. To apply our own ecclesiastical phraseology to them, the latter are the Moslem Protestants, the former the Moslem Catholics. Yet in relation to almost every thing which should seem at all fundamental or vital they agree in their teachings. Their differences in general are upon trivial opinions, or especially upon ritual particulars. For instance, the Sheeahs send all the Sunnees to hell because in their ablutions they wash from the elbow to the finger tips; the Sunnees return the compliment to their rival sectarists because they wash from the finger tips to the elbow. Within these two grand denominations of Sheeah and

1 Rabbi Abraham Geiger, Prize Essay upon the question, proposed by the University of Bonn, "Was hat Mohammed aus dem Judenthum aufgenommen?"

2 Merrick, Translation of the Sheeah Traditions of Mohammed in the Hyat ul Kuloob, note x.

Sunnee are found a multitude of petty sects, separated from each other on various questions of speculative faith and ceremonial practice. Some take the Koran alone, and that in its plain literal sense, as their authority. Others read the Koran in the explanatory light of a vast collection of parables, proverbs, legends, purporting to be from Mohammed. There is no less than a score of mystic allegorizing sects3 who reduce almost every thing in the Koran to symbol, or spiritual signification, and some of whom as the Sufis are the most rapt and imaginative of all the enthusiastic devotees in the world.

A cardinal point in the Mohammedan faith is the asserted existence of angels, celestial and infernal. Eblis is Satan. He was an angel of lofty rank; but when God created Adam and bade all the angels worship him, Eblis refused, saying, "I was created of fire, he of clay: I am more excellent and will not bow to him."4 Upon this God condemned Eblis and expelled him from Paradise. He then became the unappeasable foe and seducing destroyer of men. He is the father of those swarms of jins, or evil spirits, who crowd all hearts and space with temptations and pave the ten thousand paths to hell with lures for men.

The next consideration preliminary to a clear exhibition of our special subject, is the doctrine of predestination, the unflinching fatalism which pervades and crowns this religion. The breath of this appalling faith is saturated with fatality, and its very name of Islam means "Submission." In heaven the prophet saw a prodigious wax tablet, called the "Preserved Table," on which were written the decrees of all events between the morning of creation and the day of judgment. The burning core of Mohammed's preaching was the proclamation of the one true God whose volition bears the irresistible destiny of the universe; and inseparably associated with this was an intense hatred of idolatry, fanned by the wings of God's wrath and producing a fanatic sense of a divine commission to avenge him on his insulters and vindicate for him his rightful worship from every nation. There is an apparent conflict between the Mohammedan representations of God's absolute predestination of all things, and the abundant exhortations to all men to accept the true faith and bring forth good works, and thus make sure of an acceptable account in the day of judgment. The former make God's irreversible will all in all. The latter seem to place alternative conditions before men, and to imply in them a power of choice. But this is a contradiction inseparable from the discussion of God's infinite sovereignty and man's individual freedom. The inconsistency is as gross in Augustine and Calvinism as it is in the Arabian lawgiver and the creed of the Sunnees. The Koran, instead of solving the difficulty, boldly cuts it, and does that in exactly the same way as the thorough Calvinist. God has respectively elected and reprobated all the destined inhabitants of heaven and hell, unalterably, independently of their choice or action. At the same time, reception of the true faith, and a life conformed to it, are virtually necessary for salvation, because it is decreed that all the elect shall profess and obey the true faith. Their obedient reception of it proves them to be elected. On the other hand, it is foreordained that none of the reprobate shall become disciples and followers of the Prophet. Their rejection of

3 Churchill, Mount Lebanon, vol. i. ch. xv.

4 Sale's Translation of the Koran, ch. vii.

him, their wicked misbelief, is the evidence of their original reprobation. As the Koran itself expresses it, salvation is for "all who are willing to be warned; but they shall not be warned unless God please:"5 "all who shall be willing to walk uprightly; but they shall not be willing unless God willeth."6

But such fine drawn distinctions are easily lost from sight or spurned in the eager affray of affairs and the imminent straits of the soul. While in dogma and theory the profession of an orthodox belief, together with scrupulous prayer, fasting, alms, and the pilgrimage to Mecca, or the absence of these things, simply denotes the foregone determinations of God in regard to the given individuals, in practice and feeling the contrasted beliefs and courses of conduct are held to obtain heaven and hell. And we find, accordingly, that Mohammed spoke as if God's primeval ordination had fixed all things forever, whenever he wished to awaken in his followers reckless valor and implicit submission. "Whole armies cannot slay him who is fated to die in his bed." On the contrary, when he sought to win converts, to move his hearers by threatenings and persuasions, he spoke as if every thing pertaining to human weal and woe, present and future, rested on conditions within the choice of men. Say, "'There is but one God, and Mohammed is his prophet,' and heaven shall be your portion; but cling to your delusive errors, and you shall be companions of the infernal fire." Practically speaking, the essence of propagandist Islam was a sentiment like this. All men who do not follow Mohammed are accursed misbelievers. We are God's chosen avengers, the commissioned instruments for reducing his foes to submission. Engaged in that work, the hilts of all our scimitars are in his hand. He snatches his servant martyr from the battle field to heaven. Thus the weapons of the unbelievers send their slain to paradise, while the weapons of the believers send their slain to hell. Up, then, with the crescent banner, and, dripping with idolatrous gore, let it gleam over mountain and plain till our sickles have reaped the earth! "The sword is the key of heaven and the key of hell. A drop of blood shed in the cause of Allah, a night spent in arms, is of more avail than two months of fasting and prayer. Whoever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven. In the day of judgment his wounds shall be resplendent as vermilion and odoriferous as musk."7 An infuriated zeal against idolaters and unbelievers inflamed the Moslem heart, a fierce martial enthusiasm filled the Moslem soul, and tangible visions of paradise and hell floated, illuminate, throughtheMoslem imagination. And so from the Persian Gulf to the Caucasus, from Sierra Leone to the Pyrenees, the polity of Mohammed overran the nations, with the Koran in its left hand, the exterminating blade in its right, one thunder shout still breaking from its awful lips: "Profess Islam, and live, with the clear prospect of eternal bliss beyond life; reject it, and die, with the full certainty of eternal anguish beyond death." When the crusading Christians and the Saracenic hosts met in battle, the conflict was the very frenzy of fanaticism. "There the question of salvation or damnation lay on the ground between the marshalled armies, to be fought for and carried by the stronger." Christ and Allah encountered, and the endless fate of their opposed

5 Koran, ch. lxxiv.

6 Ibid. ch. lxxxi.

7 Gibbon, Decline and Fall of Rome, ch. 1.

followers hung on the swift turning issue. "Never have the appalling ideas of the invisible world so much and so distinctly mingled with the fury of mortal strife as in this instance. To the eyes of Turk and Arab the smoke of the infernal pit appeared to break up from the ground in the rear of the infidel lines. As the squadrons of the faithful moved on to the charge, that pit yawned to receive the miscreant host; and in chasing the foe the prophet's champions believed they were driving their antagonists down the very slopes of perdition. When at length steel clashed upon steel and the yell of death shook the air, the strife was not so much between arm and arm as between spirit and spirit, and each deadly thrust was felt to pierce the life at once of the body and of the soul."8

That terrible superstition prevails almost universally among the Mussulmans, designated the "Beating in the Sepulchre," or the examination and torture of the body in the grave. As soon as a corpse is interred, two black and livid angels, called the Examiners, whose names are Munkeer and Nakeer, appear, and order the dead person to sit up and answer certain questions as to his faith. If he give satisfactory replies, they suffer him to rest in peace, refreshed by airs from paradise; but if he prove to have been an unbeliever or heretic, they beat him on the temples with iron maces till he roars aloud with pain and terror. They then press the earth on the body, which remains gnawed and stung by dragons and scorpions until the last day. Some sects give a figurative explanation of these circumstances. The utter denial of the whole representation is a schismatic peculiarity of the sect of Motozallites. But all true believers, both Sunnee and Sheeah, devoutly accept it literally. The commentators declare that it is implied in the following verse of the Koran itself: "How, therefore, will it be with them when they die and the angels shall strike their faces and their backs?" 9

The intermediate state of souls from the time of death until the resurrection has been the subject of extensive speculation and argument with the Islamites. The souls of the prophets, it is thought, are admitted directly to heaven. The souls of martyrs, according to a tradition received from Mohammed, rest in heaven in the crops of green birds who eat of the fruits and drink of the rivers there. As to the location of the souls of the common crowd of the faithful, the conclusions are various. Some maintain that they and the souls of the impious alike sleep in the dust until the end, when Israfil's blasts will stir them into life to be judged. But the general and orthodox impression is that they tarry in one of the heavens, enjoying a preparatory blessedness. The souls of the wicked, it is commonly held, after being refused a place in the tomb and also being repulsed from heaven, are carried down to the lower abyss, and thrown into a dungeon under a green rock, or into the jaw of Eblis, there to be treated with foretastes of their final doom until summoned to the judgment.10

A very prominent doctrine in the Moslem creed is that of the resurrection of the body. This is a central feature in the orthodox faith. It is expounded in all the emphatic details of its gross literality by their authoritative doctors, and is dwelt upon with unwearied reiteration by the Koran. True, some minor heretical sects give it a spiritual interpretation; but the great

8 Taylor, Hist. of Fanaticism, sect. vii.

9 Ch. xlvii.

10 Sale, Preliminary Discourse, sect. iv.

body of believers accept it unhesitatingly in its most physical shape. The intrinsic unnaturalness and improbability of the dogma were evidently felt by Mohammed and his expositors; and all the more they strove to bolster it up and enforce its reception by vehement affirmations and elaborate illustrations. In the second chapter of the Koran it is related that, in order to remove the skepticism of Abraham as to the resurrection, God wrought the miracle of restoring four birds which had been cut in pieces and scattered. In chapter seventh, God says, "We bring rain upon a withered country and cause the fruits to spring forth. Thus will we bring the dead from their graves." The prophet frequently rebukes those who reject this belief. "What aileth them, that they believe not the resurrection?"11 "Is not He who created man able to quicken the dead?"12 "The scoffers say, 'Shall we be raised to life, and our forefathers too, after we have become dust and bones? This is nothing but sorcery.'"13 First, Israfil will blow the blast of consternation. After an interval, he will blow the blast of examination, at which all creatures will die and the material universe will melt in horror. Thirdly, he will blow the blast of resurrection. Upon that instant, the assembled souls of mankind will issue from his trumpet, like a swarm of bees, and fill the atmosphere, seeking to be reunited to their former bodies, which will then be restored, even to their very hairs.

The day of judgment immediately follows. This is the dreadful day for which all other days were made; and it will come with blackness and consternation to unbelievers and evil doers, but with peace and delight to the faithful. The total race of man will be gathered in one place. Mohammed will first advance in front, to the right hand, as intercessor for the professors of Islam. The preceding prophets will appear with their followers. Gabriel will hold suspended a balance so stupendous that one scale will cover paradise, the other hell. "Hath the news of the overwhelming day of judgment reached thee?"14 "Whoever hath wrought either good or evil of the weight of an ant shall in that day behold the same."15 An infallible scrutiny shall search and weigh every man's deeds, and exact justice shall be done, and no foreign help can avail any one. "One soul shall not be able to obtain any thing in behalf of another soul."16 "Every man of them on that day shall have business enough of his own to employ his thoughts."17 In all the Mohammedan representations of this great trial and of the principles which determine its decisions, no reference is made to the doctrine of predestination, but all turns on strict equity. Reckoning a reception or rejection of the true faith as a crowning merit or demerit, the only question is, Do his good works outweigh, by so much as a hair, his evil works? If so, he goes to the right; if not, he must take the left. The solitary trace of fatalism or rather favoritism is this: that no idolater, once in hell, can ever possibly be released, while no Islamite, however wicked, can be damned eternally. The punishment of unbelievers is everlasting, that of believers limited. The opposite of this opinion is a great heresy with the generality of the Moslems. Some say the judgment will require but the twinkling of an eye; others that it will occupy fifty thousand years, during which time the sun will be drawn from its sheath and burn insufferably, and the wicked will stand looking up, their feet shod with shoes of fire, and their skulls boiling like pots. At last,

11 Ch. lxxxiv.

12 Ch. lxxv.

13 Ch. xxxvii., lvi.

14 Koran, ch. lxxxviii.

15 Ibid. ch. xcix.

16 Ibid. ch. lxxxii.

17 Ibid. ch. lxxx.

when sentence has been passed on them, all souls are forced to try the passage of al Sirat, a bridge thinner than a hair, sharper than a razor, and hotter than flame, spanning in one frail arch the immeasurable distance, directly over hell, from earth to paradise. Some affect a metaphorical solution of this air severing causeway, and take it merely as a symbol of the true Sirat, or bridge of this world, namely, the true faith and obedience; but every orthodox Mussulman firmly holds it as a physical fact to be surmounted in the last day.18 Mohammed leading the way, the faithful and righteous will traverse it with ease and as quickly as a flash of lightning. The thin edge broadens beneath their steps, the surrounding support of convoying angels' wings hides the fire lake below from their sight, and they are swiftly enveloped in paradise. But as the infidel with his evil deeds essays to cross, thorns entangle his steps, the lurid glare beneath blinds him, and he soon topples over and whirls into the blazing abyss. In Dr. Frothingham's fine translation from Ruckert,

"When the wicked o'er it goes, stands the bridge all sparkling; And his mind bewilder'd grows, and his eye swims darkling. Wakening, giddying, then comes in, with a deadly fright, Memory of all his sin, rushing on his sight. But when forward steps the just, he is safe e'en here: Round him gathers holy trust, and drives back his fear. Each good deed's a mist, that wide, golden borders gets; And for him the bridge, each side, shines with parapets."

Between hell and paradise is an impassable wall, al Araf, separating the tormented from the happy, and covered with those souls whose good works exactly counterpoise their evil works, and who are, consequently, fitted for neither place. The prophet and his expounders have much to say of this narrow intermediate abode.19 Its lukewarm denizens are contemptuously spoken of. It is said that Araf seems hell to the blessed but paradise to the damned; for does not every thing depend on the point of view?

The Mohammedan descriptions of the doom of the wicked, the torments of hell, are constantly repeated and are copious and vivid. Reference to chapter and verse would be superfluous, since almost every page of the Koran abounds in such tints and tones as the following. "The unbelievers shall be companions of hell fire forever." "Those who disbelieve we will surely cast to be broiled in hell fire: so often as their skins shall be well burned we will give them other skins in exchange, that they may taste the sharper torment." "I will fill hell entirely full of genii and men." "They shall be dragged on their faces into hell, and it shall be said unto them, 'Taste ye that torment of hell fire which ye rejected as a falsehood.'" "The unbelievers shall be driven into hell by troops." "They shall be taken by the forelocks and the feet and flung into hell, where they shall drink scalding water." "Their only entertainment shall be boiling water, and they shall be fuel for hell." "The smoke of hell shall cast forth sparks as big as towers, resembling yellow camels in color." "They who believe not shall

18 W. C. Taylor, Mohammedanism and its Sects.

19 Koran, ch. viii. Sale, Preliminary Discourse, p. 125.

have garments of fire fitted on them, and they shall be beaten with maces of red hot iron." "The true believers, lying on couches, shall look down upon the infidels in hell and laugh them to scorn."

There is a tradition that a door shall be shown the damned opening into paradise, but when they approach it, it shall be suddenly shut, and the believers within will laugh. Pitiless and horrible as these expressions from the Koran are, they are merciful compared with the pictures in the later traditions, of women suspended by their hair, their brains boiling, suspended by their tongues, molten copper poured down their throats, bound hands and feet and devoured piecemeal by scorpions, hung up by their heels in flaming furnaces and their flesh cut off on all sides with scissors of fire. 20 Their popular teachings divide hell into seven stories, sunk one under another. The first and mildest is for the wicked among the true believers. The second is assigned to the Jews. The third is the special apartment of the Christians. They fourth is allotted to the Sabians, the fifth to the Magians, and the sixth to the most abandoned idolaters; but the seventh the deepest and worst belongs to the hypocrites of all religions. The first hell shall finally be emptied and destroyed, on the release of the wretched believers there; but all the other hells will retain their victims eternally.

If the visions of hell which filled the fancies of the faithful were material and glowing, equally so were their conceptions of paradise. On this world of the blessed were lavished all the charms so fascinating to the Oriental luxuriousness of sensual languor, and which the poetic Oriental imagination knew so well how to depict. As soon as the righteous have passed Sirat, they obtain the first taste of their approaching felicity by a refreshing draught from "Mohammed's Pond." This is a square lake, a month's journey in circuit, its water whiter than milk or silver and more fragrant than to be comparable to any thing known by mortals. As many cups are set around it as there are stars in the firmament; and whoever drinks from it will never thirst more. Then comes paradise, an ecstatic dream of pleasure, filled with sparkling streams, honeyed fountains, shady groves, precious stones, all flowers and fruits, blooming youths, circulating goblets, black eyed houris, incense, brilliant birds, delightsome music, unbroken peace.21 A Sheeah tradition makes the prophet promise to Ali twelve palaces in paradise, built of gold and silver bricks laid in a cement of musk and amber. The pebbles around them are diamonds and rubies, the earth saffron, its hillocks camphor. Rivers of honey, wine, milk, and water flow through the court of each palace, their banks adorned with various resplendent trees, interspersed with bowers consisting each of one hollow transparent pearl. In each of these bowers is an emerald throne, with a houri upon it arrayed in seventy green robes and seventy yellow robes of so fine a texture, and she herself so transparent, that the marrow of her ankle, notwithstanding robes, flesh, and bone, is as distinctly visible as a flame in a glass vessel. Each houri has seventy locks of hair, every one under the care of a maid, who perfumes it with a censer which God has made to smoke with incense without the presence of fire; and no mortal has ever breathed such fragrance as is there exhaled. 22

20 Hyat ul Kuloob, ch. x. p. 206.

21 Koran, ch. lv. ch. lvi.

22 Hyat ul Kuloob, ch. xvi. p. 286.

Such a doctrine of the future life as that here set forth, it is plain, was strikingly adapted to win and work fervidly on the minds of the imaginative, voluptuous, indolent, passionate races of the Orient. It possesses a nucleus of just and natural moral conviction and sentiment, around which is grouped a composite of a score of superstitions afloat before the rise of Islam, set off with the arbitrary drapery of a poetic fancy, colored by the peculiar idiosyncrasies of Mohammed, emphasized to suit his special ends, and all inflamed with a vindictive and propagandist animus. Any word further in explanation of the origin, or in refutation of the soundness, of this system of belief once so imminently aggressive and still so widely established would seem to be superfluous.

Rabbinical Doctrine of A Future Life

THE starting point in the Talmud on this subject is with the effects of sin upon the human race. Man was made radiant, pure, immortal, in the image of God. By sin he was obscured, defiled, burdened with mortal decay and judgment. In this representation that misery and death were an after doom brought into the world by sin, the Rabbinical authorities strikingly agree. The testimony is irresistible. We need not quote confirmations of this statement, as every scholar in this department will accept it at once. But as to what is meant precisely by the term "death," as used in such a connection, there is no little obscurity and diversity of opinion. In all probability, some of the Pharisaical fathers perhaps the majority of them conceived that, if Adam had not sinned, he and his posterity would have been physically immortal, and would either have lived forever on the earth, or have been successively transferred to the home of Jehovah over the firmament. They call the devil, who is the chief accuser in the heavenly court of justice, the angel of death, by the name of "Sammael." Rabbi Reuben says, "When Sammael saw Adam sin, he immediately sought to slay him, and went to the heavenly council and clamored for justice against him, pleading thus: 'God made this decree, "In the day thou eatest of the tree thou shalt surely die." Therefore give him to me, for he is mine, and I will kill him; to this end was I created; and give me power over all his descendants.' When the celestial Sanhedrim perceived that his petition was just, they decreed that it should be granted."1 A great many expressions of kindred tenor might easily be adduced, leaving it hardly possible to doubt as indeed we are not aware that any one does doubt that many of the Jews literally held that sin was the sole cause of bodily dissolution. But, on the other hand, there were as certainly others who did not entertain that idea, but understood and explained the terms in which it was sometimes conveyed in a different, a partially figurative, sense. Rabbi Samuel ben David writes, "Although the first Adam had not sinned, yet death would have been; for death was created on the first day." The reference here is, as Rabbi Berechias explains, to the account in Genesis where we read that "darkness was upon the face of the deep," "by which is to be understood the angel of death, who has darkened the face of man."2 The Talmudists generally believed also in the pre existence of souls in heaven, and in a spiritual body investing and fitting the soul for heaven, as the present carnal body invests and fits it for the earth. Schoettgen has collected numerous illustrations in point, of which the following may serve as specimens.3 "When the first Adam had not sinned, he was every way an angel of the Lord, perfect and spotless, and it was decreed that he should live forever like one of the celestial ministers." "The soul cannot ascend into Paradise except it be first invested with a

1 Schoettgen, Dissertatio de Hierosolyma Coelesti, cap. iii. sect. 9.

2 Schoettgen, Hora Biblica et Talmudica, in Rom. v. 12, et in Johan. iii. 19.

3 Ibid. in 2 Cor. v. 2.

clothing adapted to that world, as the present is for this world." These notions do not harmonize with the thought that man was originally destined for a physical eternity on this globe. All this difficulty disappears, we think, and the true metaphorical force often intended in the word "death" comes to view, through the following conception, occupying the minds of a portion of the Jewish Rabbins, as we are led to believe by the clews furnished in the close connection between the Pharisaic and the Zoroastrian eschatology, by similar hints in various parts of the New Testament, and by some quite explicit declarations in the Talmud itself, which we shall soon cite in a different connection. God at first intended that man should live for a time in pure blessedness on the earth, and then without pain should undergo a glorious change making him a perfect peer of the angels, and be translated to their lofty abode in his own presence; but, when he sinned, God gave him over to manifold suffering, and on the destruction of his body adjudged his naked soul to descend to a doleful imprisonment below the grave. The immortality meant for man was a timely ascent to heaven in a paradisal clothing, without dying. The doom brought on him by sin was the alteration of that desirable change of bodies and ascension to the supernal splendors, for a permanent disembodiment and a dreaded descent to the subterranean glooms. It is a Talmudical as much as it is a Pauline idea, that the triumphant power of the Messiah would restore what the unfortunate fall of Adam forfeited. Now, if we can show as we think we can, and as we shall try to do in a later part of this article that the later Jews expected the Messianic resurrection to be the prelude to an ascent into heaven, and not the beginning of a gross earthly immortality, it will powerfully confirm the theory which we have just indicated. "When," says one of the old Rabbins, "the dead in Israelitish earth are restored alive," their bodies will be "as the body of the first Adam before he sinned, and they shall all fly into the air like birds."4

At all events, whether the general Rabbinical belief was in the primitive destination of man to a heavenly or to an earthly immortality, whether the "death" decreed upon him in consequence of sin was the dissolution of the body or the wretchedness of the soul, they all agree that the banishment of souls into the realm of blackness under the grave was a part of the penalty of sin. Some of them maintained, as we think, that, had there been no sin, souls would have passed to heaven in glorified bodies; others of them maintained, as we think, that, had there been no sin, they would have lived eternally upon earth in their present bodies; but all of them agreed, it is undisputed, that in consequence of sin souls were condemned to the under world. No man would have seen the dismal realm of the sepulchre had there not been sin. The earliest Hebrew conception was that all souls went down to a common abode, to spend eternity in dark slumber or nerveless groping. This view was first modified soon after the Persian captivity, by the expectation that there would be discrimination at the resurrection which the Jews had learned to look for, when the just should rise but the wicked should be left.

The next alteration of their notions on this subject was the subdivision of the underworld into Paradise and Gehenna, a conception known among them probably as early as a century before Christ, and very prominent with them in the apostolic age. "When Rabbi

4 Schoettgen, in 1 Cor. xv. 44.

Jochanan was dying, his disciples asked him, 'Light of Israel, main pillar of the right, thou strong hammer, why dost thou weep?' He answered, 'Two paths open before me, the one leading to bliss, the other to torments; and I know not which of them will be my doom.'"5 "Paradise is separated from hell by a distance no greater than the width of a thread."6 So, in Christ's parable of Dives and Lazarus, Abraham's bosom and hell are two divisions. "There are three doors into Gehenna: one in the wilderness, where Korah and his company were swallowed; one in the sea, where Jonah descended when he 'cried out of the belly of hell;' one in Jerusalem, for the Lord says, 'My furnace is in Jerusalem.'"7 "The under world is divided into palaces, each of which is so large that it would take a man three hundred years to roam over it. There are distinct apartments where the hell punishments are inflicted. One place is so dark that its name is 'Night of Horrors."8 "In Paradise there are certain mansions for the pious from the Gentile peoples, and for those mundane kings who have done kindness to the Israelites."9 "The fire of Gehenna was kindled on the evening of the first Sabbath, and shall never be extinguished."10 The Egyptians, Persians, Hindus, and Greeks, with all of whom the Jews held relations of intercourse, had, in their popular representations of the under world of the dead, regions of peace and honor for the good, and regions of fire for the bad. The idea may have been adopted from them by the Jews, or it may have been at last developed among themselves, first by the imaginative poetical, afterwards by the literally believing, transference below of historical and local imagery and associations, such as those connected with the ingulfing of Sodom and Gomorrah in fire and sulphur, and with the loathed fires in the valley of Hinnom.

Many of the Rabbins believed in the transmigration or revolution of souls, an immemorial doctrine of the Fast, and developed it into the most ludicrous and marvellous details.11 But, with the exception of those who adopted this Indian doctrine, the Rabbins supposed all departed souls to be in the under world, some in the division of Paradise, others in that of hell. Here they fancied these souls to be longingly awaiting the advent of the Messiah. "Messiah and the patriarchs weep together in Paradise over the delay of the time of the kingdom."12 In this quotation the Messiah is represented as being in the under world, for the Jews expected that he would be a man, very likely some one who had already lived. For a delegation was once sent to ask Jesus, "Art thou Elias? art thou the Messiah? art thou that prophet?" Light is thus thrown upon the Rabbinical saying that "it was doubted whether the Messiah would come from the living, or the dead."13 Borrowing some Persian modes of thinking, and adding them to their own inordinate national pride, the Rabbins soon began

5 Talmud, tract. Berachoth.

6 Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, th. ii. cap. v. s. 315.

7 Lightfoot, in Matt. v. 22.

8 Schroder, Satzungen and Gebrauche des Talmudisch Rabbinischen Judenthums, s. 408.

9 Schoettgen, in Johan. xiv. 2.

10 Nov. Test. ex Talmude, etc. illustratum a J. G. Menschen, p. 125.

11 Basnage, Hist. of Jews, lib. iv. cap. 30. Also, Traditions of the Rabbins, in Blackwood for April, 1833.

12 Eisenmenger, th. ii. s. 304.

13 Lightfoot, in Matt. ii. 16.

to fancy that the observance or non observance of the Pharisaic ritual, and kindred particulars, must exert a great effect in determining the destination of souls and their condition in the under world. Observe the following quotations from the Talmud. "Abraham sits at the gate of hell to see that no Israelite enters." "Circumcision is so agreeable to God, that he swore to Abraham that no one who was circumcised should descend into hell."14 "What does Abraham to those circumcised who have sinned too much? He takes the foreskins from Gentile boys who died without circumcision, and places them on those Jews who were circumcised but have become godless, and then kicks them into hell."15 Hell here denotes that division in the under world where the condemned are punished. The younger Buxtorf, in a preface to his father's "Synagoga Judaica," gives numerous specimens of Jewish representations of "the efficacy of circumcision being so great that no one who has undergone it shall go down into hell." Children can help their deceased parents out of hell by their good deeds, prayers, and offerings.16 "Beyond all doubt," says Gfrorer, "the ancient Jewish synagogue inculcated the doctrine of supererogatory good works, the merit of which went to benefit the departed souls."17 Here all souls were, in the under world, either in that part of it called Paradise, or in that named Gehenna, according to certain conditions. But in whichever place they were, and under whatever circumstances, they were all tarrying in expectation of the advent of the Messiah.

How deeply rooted, how eagerly cherished, the Jewish belief in the approaching appearance of the Messiah was, and what a splendid group of ideas and imaginations they clustered around his reign, are well known facts. He was to be a descendant of royal David, an inspired prophet, priest, and king, was to subdue the whole earth beneath his Jewish sceptre and establish from Jerusalem a theocratic empire of unexampled glory, holiness, and delight. In so much the consent was general and earnest; though in regard to many further details there would seem to have been an incongruous diversity of opinions. They supposed the coming of the Messiah would be preceded by ten frightful woes,18 also by the appearance of the prophet Elias as a forerunner.19 There are a few passages in the Rabbinical writings which, unless they were forged and interpolated by Christians at a late period, show that there were in the Jewish mind anticipations of the personal descent of the Messiah into the under world.20 "After this the Messiah, the son of David, came to the gates of the underworld. But when the bound, who are in Gehenna, saw the light of the Messiah, they began rejoicing to receive him, saying, 'He shall lead us up from this darkness.'" "The captives shall

14 Schroder, s. 332.

15 Eisenmenger, th. ii. kap. vi. s. 340.

16 Ibid. s. 358.

17 Geschichte des Urchristenthums, zweit. abth. s. 186. Maimonides also asserts the doctrine of supererogatory works: see p. 237 of H. H. Bernard's Selections from the Yad Hachazakah of Maimonides.

18 Surenhusius, Mischna, pars tertia, p. 308.

19 Lightfoot, in Matt. xvii. 10.

20 For a general view of the Jewish eschatology, see Gfrorer, Geschichte des Urchristenthums, kap. x.; Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, th. ii. kap. xv. xvii.

ascend from the under world, Schechinah at their head."21 Gfrorer derives the origin of the doctrine that Christ rescued souls out of the under world, from a Jewish notion, preserved in the Talmud,22 that the just patriarchs sometimes did it.23 Bertholdt adduces Talmudical declarations to show that through the Messiah "God would hereafter liberate the Israelites from the under world, on account of the merit of circumcision"24 Schoettgen quotes this statement from the Sohar: "Messia shall die, and shall remain in the state of death a time, and shall rise."25 The so called Fourth Book of Ezra says, in the seventh chapter, "My son, the Christ, shall die: then follow the resurrection and the judgment." Although it is clear, from various other sources, as well as from the account in John xii. 34, that there was a prevalent expectation among the Jews that "the Messiah would abide forever," it also seems quite certain that there were at the same time at least obscure presentiments, based on prophecies and traditions, that he must die, that an important part of his mission was connected with his death. This appears from such passages as we have cited above, found in early Rabbinical writers, who would certainly be very unlikely to borrow and adapt a new idea of such a character from the Christians; and from the manner in which Jesus assumes his death to be a part of the Messianic fate and interprets the Scriptures as necessarily pointing to that effect. He charges his disciples with being "fools and blind" in not so understanding the doctrine; thus seeming to imply that it was plainly known to some. But this question the origin of the idea of a suffering, atoning, dying Messiah is confessedly a very nice and obscure one. The evidence, the silence, the inferences, the presumptions and doubts on the subject are such, that some of the most thorough and impartial students say they are unable to decide either way.

However the foregoing question be decided, it is admitted by all that the Jews earnestly looked for a resurrection of the dead as an accompaniment of the Messiah's coming. Whether Christ was to go down into the under world, or to sit enthroned on Mount Zion, in either case the dead should come up and live again on earth at the blast of his summoning trumpet. Rabbi Jeremiah commanded, "When you bury me, put shoes on my feet, and give me a staff in my hand, and lay me on one side, that when the Messiah comes I may be ready."26 Most of the Rabbins made this resurrection partial. "Whoever denies the resurrection of the dead shall have no part in it, for the very reason that he denies it."27 "Rabbi Abbu says, "A day of rain is greater than the resurrection of the dead; because the rain is for all, while the resurrection is only for the just."28 "Sodom and Gomorrah shall not rise in the resurrection of the dead."29 Rabbi Chebbo says, "The patriarchs so vehemently desired to be buried in

21 Schoettgen, De Messia, lib. vi. cap. v. sect. 1.

22 Eisenmenger, th. ii. ss. 343, 364.

23 Geschichte Urchrist. kap. viii. s. 184.

24 Christologia Judaorum Jesu Apostolorumque Atate, sect. 34, (De Descensu Messia ad Inferos.)

25 De Messia, lib. vi. cap. v. sect. 2.

26 Lightfoot, in Matt. xxvii. 52.

27 Witsius, Dissertatio de Seculo, etc. sect. 9.

28 Nov. Test. Illustratum, etc. a Meuschen, p. 62.

29 Schoettgen, in Johan. vi. 39.

the land of Israel, because those who are dead in that land shall be the first to revive and shall devour his years, [the years of the Messiah.] But for those just who are interred beyond the holy land, it is to be understood that God will make a passage in the earth, through which they will be rolled until they reach the land of Israel."30 Rabbi Jochanan says, "Moses died out of the holy land, in order to show that in the same way that God will raise up Moses, so he will raise all those who observe his law." The national bigotry of the Jews reaches a pitch of extravagance in some of their views that is amusing. For instance, they declare that "one Israelitish soul is dearer and more important to God than all the souls of a whole nation of the Gentiles!" Again, they say, "When God judges the Israelites, he will stand, and make the judgment brief and mild; when he judges the Gentiles, he will sit, and make it long and severe!" They affirm that the resurrection will be effected by means of a dew; and they quote to that effect this verse from Canticles: "I sleep, but my heart waketh; my head is filled with dew, and my locks with drops of the night." Some assert that "the resurrection will be immediately caused by God, who never gives to any one the three keys of birth, rain, and the resurrection of the dead." Others say that the power to raise and judge the dead will be delegated to the Messiah, and even go so far as to assert that the trumpet whose formidable blasts will then shake the universe is to be one of the horns of that ram which Abraham offered up instead of his son Isaac! Some confine the resurrection to faithful Jews, some extend it to the whole Jewish nation, some think all the righteous of the earth will have part in it, and some stretch its pale around all mankind alike.31 They seem to agree that the reprobate would either be left in the wretched regions of Sheol when the just arose, or else be thrust back after the judgment, to remain there forever. It was believed that the righteous after their resurrection would never die again, but ascend to heaven. The Jews after a time, when the increase of geographical knowledge had annihilated from the earth their old Eden whence the sinful Adam was expelled, changed its location into the sky. Thither, as the later fables ran, Elijah was borne in his chariot of fire by the horses thereof. Rabbi Pinchas says, "Carefulness leads us to innocence, innocence to purity, purity to sanctity, sanctity to humility, humility to fear of sins, fear of sins to piety, piety to the holy spirit, the holy spirit to the resurrection of the dead, the resurrection of the dead to the prophet Elias."32 The writings of the early Christian Fathers contain many allusions to this blessed habitation of saints above the clouds. It is illustrated in the following quaint Rabbinical narrative. Rabbi Jehosha ben Levi once besought the angel of death to take him up, ere he died, to catch a glimpse of Paradise. Standing on the wall, he suddenly snatched the angel's sword and sprang over, swearing by Almighty God that he would not come out. Death was not allowed to enter Paradise, and the son of Levi did not restore his sword until he had promised to be more gentle towards the dying.33 The righteous were never to return to the dust, but "at the end

30 Schoettgen, De Messia, lib. vi. cap. vi. sect. 27.

31 See an able dissertation on Jewish Notions of the Resurrection of the Dead, prefixed to Humphrey's Translation of Athenagoras on the Resurrection.

32 Surenhusius, Mischna, pars tertia, p. 309.

33 Schroder, s. 419.

of the thousand years," the duration of the Messiah's earthly reign, "when the Lord is lifted up, God shall fit wings to the just, like the wings of eagles."34 In a word, the Messiah and his redeemed ones would ascend into heaven to the right hand of God. So Paul, who said, "I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee," declares that when the dead have risen "we shall be caught up in the clouds to be forever with the Lord."

We forbear to notice a thousand curious details of speculation and fancy in which individual Rabbins indulged; for instance, their common notion concerning the bone luz, the single bone which, withstanding dissolution, shall form the nucleus of the resurrection body. It was a prevalent belief with them that the resurrection would take place in the valley of Jehoshaphat, in proof of which they quote this text from Joel: "Let the heathen be wakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge the nations around." To this day, wherever scattered abroad, faithful Jews cling to the expectation of the Messiah's coming, and associate with his day the resurrection of the dead.35 The statement in the Song of Solomon, "The king is held in the galleries," means, says a Rabbinical book, "that the Messiah is detained in Paradise, fettered by a woman's hair!" Every day, throughout the world, every consistent Israelite repeats the words of Moses Maimonides, the peerless Rabbi, of whom it is a proverb that "from Moses to Moses there arose not a Moses:" "I believe with a perfect faith that the Messiah will come, and though he delays, nevertheless, I will always expect him till he come." Then shall glory cover the living, and the risen, children of Israel, and confusion fall on their Gentile foes. In almost every inch of the beautiful valley of Jehoshaphat a Jew has been buried. All over the slopes of the hill sides around lie the thick clustering sepulchral slabs, showing how eagerly the chosen people seek to sleep in the very spot where the first rising of the dead shall be. Entranced and mute,

"In old Jehoshaphat's valley, they
Of Israel think the assembled world
Will stand upon that awful day,
When the Ark's light, aloft unfurl'd,
Among the opening clouds shall shine,
Divinity's own radiant shrine."

Any one familiar with the Persian theology36 will at once notice a striking resemblance between many of its dogmas and those, first, of Pharisaism, secondly, of the popular Christianity. Some examination of this subject properly belongs here. There is, then, as is well known, a circle or group of ideas, particularly pertaining to eschatology, which appear in the later Jewish writings, and remarkably correspond to those held by the Parsees, the followers of Zoroaster. The same notions also reappear in the early Christianity as popularly understood. We will specify some of these correspondences. The doctrine of angels, received by the Jews, their names, offices, rank, and destiny, was borrowed and formed

34 Schoettgen, de Messia, lib. vi. cap. vi. sect. 23; cap. vii. ss. 3, 4.

35 John Allen, Modern Judaism, ch. vi. and xv.

36 See Abriss der Religion Zoroasters nach den Zendbuchern, von Abbe Foucher, in Kleuker's Zend Avesta, band i. zweit anhang, ss. 328-342.

by them during and just after the Babylonish captivity, and is much like that which they found among their enslavers.37 The guardian angels appointed over nations, spoken of by Daniel, are Persian. The angels called in the Apocalypse "the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth," in Zechariah "the seven eyes of God which run to and fro through all the earth," are the Amschaspands of the Persian faith. The wars of the angels are described as minutely by the old Persians as by Milton. The Zend Avesta pictures Ahriman pregnant with Death, (die alte hollenschlange, todschwangere Ahriman,) as Milton describes the womb of Sin bearing that fatal monster. The Gahs, or second order of angels, the Persians supposed,38 were employed in preparing clothing and laying it up in heaven to clothe the righteous after the resurrection, a fancy frequent among the Rabbins and repeatedly alluded to in the New Testament. With both the Persians and the Jews, all our race both sexes sprang from one original man. With both, the first pair were seduced and ruined by means of fruit which the devil gave to them. With both, there was a belief in demoniacal possessions, devils or bad spirits entering human bodies. With both, there was the expectation of a great Deliverer, the Persian Sosiosch, the Jewish Messiah, whose coming would be preceded by fearful woes, who would triumph over all evil, raise the dead, judge the world, separate the righteous and the wicked, purge the earth with fire, and install a reign of glorious blessedness.39 "The conception of an under world," says Dr. Roth, "was known centuries before Zoroaster; but probably he was the first to add to the old belief the idea that the under world was a place of purification, wherein souls were purged from all traces of sin."40 Of this belief in a subterranean purgatory there are numerous unmistakable evidences and examples in the Rabbinical writings.41

These notions and others the Pharisees early adopted, and wrought into the texture of what they called the "Oral Law," that body of verbally transmitted legends, precepts, and dogmas, afterwards written out and collected in the Mischna, to which Christ repeatedly alluded with such severity, saying, "Ye by your traditions make the commandments of God of none effect." To some doctrines of kindred character and origin with these Paul refers when he warns his readers against "the worshipping of angels," "endless genealogies," "philosophy falsely so called," and various besetting heresies of the time. But others were so woven and assimilated into the substance of the popular Judaism of the age, as inculcated by the Rabbins, that Paul himself held them, the lingering vestiges of his earnest Pharisaic education and organized experience. They naturally found their way into the Apostolic Church, principally composed of Ebionites, Christians who had been Jews; and from it they were never separated, but have come to us in seeming orthodox garb, and are generally

37 Schroder, p. 385.

38 Yacna, Ha 411. Kleuker, zweit. auf. s. 198.

39 Die Heiligen Schriften der Parsen, von Dr. F. Spiegel, kap. ii. ss. 32-37. Studien and Kritiken, 1885, band i., "Ist die Lehre von der Anferstehung des Leibes nicht ein alt Persische Lehre?" F. Nork, Mythen der Alten Perser als Quellen Christlicher Glaubenslehren und Ritualien.

40 Die Zoroastrischen Glaubenslehre, von Dr. Eduard Roth. s. 450.

41 See, In tom. i. Kabbala Denudata, Synopsis Dogmatum Libri Sohar pp. 108, 109, 113.

retained now. Still, they were errors. They are incredible to the thinking minds of to day. It is best to get rid of them by the truth, that they are pagan growths introduced into Christianity, but to be discriminated from it. By removing these antiquated and incredible excrescences from the real religion of Christ, we shall save the essential faith from the suspicion which their association with it, their fancied identity with it, invites and provokes.

The correspondences between the Persian and the Pharisaic faith, in regard to doctrines, are of too arbitrary and peculiar a character to allow us for a moment to suppose them to have been an independent product spontaneously developed in the two nations; though even in that case the doctrines in question have no sanction of authority, not being Mosaic nor Prophetic, but only Rabbinical. One must have received from the other. Which was the bestower and which the recipient is quite plain.42 There is not a whit of evidence to show, but, on the contrary, ample presumption to disprove, that a certain cycle of notions were known among the Jews previous to a period of most intimate and constant intercourse between them and the Persians. But before that period those notions were an integral part of the Persian theology. Even Prideaux admits that the first Zoroaster lived and Magianism flourished at least a thousand years before Christ. And the dogmas we refer to are fundamental features of the religion. These dogmas of the Persians, not derived from the Old Testament nor known among the Jews before the captivity, soon after that time began to show themselves in their literature, and before the opening of the New Testament were prominent elements of the Pharisaic belief. The inference is unavoidable that the confluence of Persian thought and feeling with Hebrew thought and feeling, joined with the materials and flowing in the channels of the subsequent experience of the Jews, formed a mingled deposit about the age of Christ, which deposit was Pharisaism. Again: the doctrines common to Zoroastrianism and Pharisaism in the former seem to be prime sources, in the latter to be late products. In the former, they compose an organic, complete, inseparable system; in the latter, they are disconnected, mixed piecemeal, and, to a considerable extent, historically traceable to an origin beyond the native, national mind. It is a significant fact that the abnormal symbolic beasts described by several of the Jewish prophets, and in the Apocalypse, were borrowed from Persian art. Sculptures representing these have been brought to light by the recent researches at Persepolis. Finally, all early ecclesiastical history incontestably shows that Persian dogmas exerted on the Christianity of the first centuries an enormous influence, a pervasive and perverting power unspent yet, and which it is one of the highest tasks of honest and laborious Christian students in the present day to explain, define, and separate. What was that Manichaanism which nearly filled Christendom for a hundred years, what was it, in great part, but an influx of tradition, speculation, imagination, and sentiment, from Persia? The Gnostic Christians even had a scripture called "Zoroaster's Apocalypse."43 "The wise men from the east," who knelt before the infant Christ, "and opened their treasures, and gave him gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh," were Persian Magi. We may imaginatively regard that sacred scene as an emblematical figure of the far different tributes which

42 Lucke, Einleitung in die Offenbarung des Johannes, kap. 2, sect. 8.

43 Kleuker, Zend Avesta, band ii. anhang i. s. 12.

a little later came from their country to his religion, the unfortunate contributions that permeated and corrupted so much of the form in which it thenceforth appeared and spread. In the pure gospel's pristine day, ere it had hardened into theological dogmas or become encumbered with speculations and comments, from the lips of God's Anointed Son repeatedly fell the earnest warning, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees." There is far more need to have this warning intelligently heeded now, coming with redoubled emphasis from the Master's own mouth, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees." For, as the gospel is now generally set forth and received, that leaven has leavened well nigh the whole lump of it.

Peter's Doctrine of A Future Life

IN entering upon an investigation of the thoughts of the New Testament writers concerning the fate of man after his bodily dissolution, we may commence by glancing at the various allusions contained in the record to opinions on this subject prevalent at the time of the Savior or immediately afterwards, but which formed no part of his religion, or were mixed with mistakes.

There are several incidents recorded in the Gospels which show that a belief in the transmigration of the soul was received among the Jews. As Jesus was passing near Siloam with his disciples, he saw a man who had been blind from his birth; and the disciples said to him, "Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" The drift of this question is, Did the parents of this man commit some great crime, for which they were punished by having their child born blind, or did he come into the world under this calamity in expiation of the iniquities of a previous life? Jesus denies the doctrine involved in this interrogation, at least, as far as his reply touches it at all; for he rarely enters into any discussion or refutation of incidental errors. He says, Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents as the cause of his blindness; but the regular workings of the laws of God are made manifest in him: moreover, it is a providential occasion offered me that I should show the divinity of my mission by giving him sight.

When Herod heard of the miracles and the fame of Jesus, he said, This is John the Baptist, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works are wrought by him. This brief statement plainly shows that the belief in the reappearance of a departed spirit, in bodily form, to run another career, was extant in Judea at that period. The Evangelists relate another circumstance to the same effect. Jesus asked his disciples who the people thought he was. And they replied, Some think that thou art John the Baptist, some Elias, and some Jeremiah or some other of the old prophets, a forerunner of the Messiah. Then Jesus asked, But who think ye that I am? And Simon Peter said, Thou art the promised Messiah himself. There was a prophetic tradition among the Jews, drawn from the words of Malachi, that before the Messiah was revealed Elias would appear and proclaim his coming.

Therefore, when the disciples of Christ recognised him as the great Anointed, they were troubled about this prophecy, and said to their Master, Why do the Scribes say that Elias must first come? He replies to them, in substance, It is even so: the prophet's words shall not fail: they are already fulfilled. But you must interpret the prophecy aright. It does not mean that the ancient prophet himself, in physical form, shall come upon earth, but that one with his office, in his spirit and power, shall go before me. If ye are able to understand the true import of the promise, it has been realized. John the Baptist is the Elias which was to come. The New Testament, therefore, has allusions to the doctrine of transmigration, but gives it no warrant.

The Jewish expectations in regard to the Messiah, the nature of his kingdom, and the events which they supposed would attend his coming or transpire during his reign, were the source and foundation of the phraseology of a great many passages in the Christian Scriptures and of the sense of not a few. The national ideas and hopes of the Jews at that time were singularly intense and extensive. Their influence over the immediate disciples of Jesus and the authors of the New Testament is often very evident in the interpretations they put upon his teachings, and in their own words. Still, their intellectual and spiritual obtuseness to the true drift of their Master's thoughts was not so great, their mistakes are neither so numerous nor so gross, as it is frequently supposed they were. This is proved by the fact that when they use the language of the Messianic expectations of the Jews in their writings they often do it, not in the material, but in a spiritual sense. When they first came under the instruction of Jesus, they were fully imbued with the common notions of their nation and age. By his influence their ideas were slowly and with great difficulty spiritualized and made to approach his own in some degree. But it is unquestionably true that they never not even after his death arrived at a clear appreciation of the full sublimity, the pure spirituality, the ultimate significance, of his mission and his words. Still, they did cast off and rise above the grossly carnal expectations of their countrymen. Partially instructed in the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, and partially biassed by their Jewish prepossessions, they interpreted a part of his language figuratively, according to his real meaning, and a part of it literally, according to their own notions. The result of this was several doctrines neither taught by Christ nor held by the Jews, but formed by conjoining and elaborating a portion of the conceptions of both. These doctrines are to be found in the New Testament; but it should be distinctly understood that the religion of Christ is not responsible for them, is to be separated from them.

The fundamental and pervading aim of that epistle of Peter the genuineness of which is unquestioned and the same is true in a great degree of his speeches recorded in the Acts of the Apostles is to exhort the Christians to whom it is written to purify themselves by faith, love, and good works; to stand firmly amidst all their tribulations, supported by the expectations and prepared to meet the conditions of a glorious life in heaven at the close of this life. Eschatology, the doctrine of the Last Things, with its practical inferences, all inseparably interwoven with the mission of Christ, forms the basis and scope of the whole document.

Peter believed that when Christ had been put to death his spirit, surviving, descended into the separate state of departed souls. Having cited from the sixteenth Psalm the declaration, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in the under world," he says it was a prophecy concerning Christ, which was fulfilled in his resurrection. "The soul of this Jesus was not left in the under world, but God hath raised him up, whereof we all are witnesses." When it is written that his soul was not left in the subterranean abode of disembodied spirits, of course the inference cannot be avoided that it was supposed to have been there for a time.

In the next place, we are warranted by several considerations in asserting that Peter believed that down there, in the gloomy realm of shades, were gathered and detained the souls of all the dead generations. We attribute this view to Peter from the combined force of the following reasons: because such was, notoriously, the belief of his ancestral and contemporary countrymen; because he speaks of the resurrection of Jesus as if it were a wonderful prophecy or unparalleled miracle, a signal and most significant exception to the universal law; because he says expressly of David that "he is not yet ascended into the heavens," and if David was still retained below, undoubtedly all were; because the same doctrine is plainly inculcated by other of the New Testament writers; and, finally, because Peter himself, in another part of this epistle, declares, in unequivocal terms, that the soul of Christ went and preached to the souls confined in the under world, for such is the perspicuous meaning of the famous text, "being put to death in the body, but kept alive in the soul, in which also he went and preached [went as a herald] to the spirits in prison." The meaning we have attributed to this celebrated passage is the simple and consistent explanation of the words and the context, and is what must have been conveyed to those familiar with the received opinions of that time. Accordingly, we find that, with the exception of Augustine, it was so understood and interpreted by the whole body of the Fathers.1 It is likewise so held now by an immense majority of the most authoritative modern commentators. Rosenmuller says, in his commentary on this text, "That by the spirits in prison is meant souls of men separated from their bodies and detained as in custody in the under world, which the Greeks call Hades, the Hebrews Sheol, can hardly be doubted," (vix dubitari posse videtur.) Such has ever been and still is the common conclusion of nearly all the best critical theologians, as volumes of citations might easily be made to show. The reasons which led Augustine to give a different exposition of the text before us are such as should make, in this case, even his great name have little or no weight. He firmly held, as revealed and unquestionable truth,2 the whole doctrine which we maintain is implied in the present passage; but he was so perplexed by certain difficult queries3 as to locality and method and circumstance, addressed to him with reference to this text, that he, waveringly, and at last, gave it an allegorical interpretation. His exegesis is not only arbitrary and opposed to the catholic doctrine of the Church; it is also so far fetched and forced as to be destitute of

1 See, for example, Clem. Alex. Stromata, lib. vi.; Cyprian, Test. adv. Judaos, lib. ii. cap. 27, Lactantius, Divin. Instit. lib. vii. cap. 20.

2 Epist. XCIX.

3 Ibid.

plausibility. He says the spirits in prison may be the souls of men confined in their bodies here in this life, to preach to whom Christ came from heaven. But the careful reader will observe that Peter speaks as if the spirits were collected and kept in one common custody, refers to the spirits of a generation long ago departed to the dead, and represents the preaching as taking place in the interval between Christ's death and his resurrection. A glance from the eighteenth to the twenty second verse inclusive shows indisputably that the order of events narrated by the apostle is this: First, Christ was put to death in the flesh, suffering for sins, the just for the unjust; secondly, he was quickened in the spirit; thirdly, he went and preached to the spirits in prison; fourthly, he rose from the dead; fifthly, he ascended into heaven. How is it possible for any one to doubt that the text under consideration teaches his subterranean mission during the period of his bodily burial?

In the exposition of the Apostles' Creed put forth by the Church of England under Edward VI., this text in Peter was referred to as an authoritative proof of the article on Christ's descent into the under world; and when, some years later, thatreference was stricken out, notoriously it was not because the Episcopal rulers were convinced of a mistake, but because they had become afraid of the associated Romish doctrine of purgatory.

If Peter believed as he undoubtedly did that Christ after his crucifixion descended to the place of departed spirits, what did he suppose was the object of that descent? Calvin's theory was that he went into hell in order that he might there suffer vicariously the accumulated agonies due to the LOST, thus placating the just wrath of the Father and purchasing the release of the elect. A sufficient refutation of that dogma, as to its philosophical basis, is found in its immorality, its forensic technicality. As a mode of explaining the Scriptures, it is refuted by the fact that it is nowhere plainly stated in the New Testament, but is arbitrarily constructed by forced and indirect inferences from various obscure texts, which texts can be perfectly explained without involving it at all. For what purpose, then, was it thought that Jesus went to the imprisoned souls of the under world? The most natural supposition the conception most in harmony with the character and details of the rest of the scheme and with the prevailing thought of the time would be that he went there to rescue the captives from their sepulchral bondage, to conquer death and the devil in their own domain, open the doors, break the chains, proclaim good tidings of coming redemption to the spirits in prison, and, rising thence, to ascend to heaven, preparing the way for them to follow with him at his expected return. This, indeed, is the doctrine of the Judaizing apostles, the unbroken catholic doctrine of the Church. Paul writes to the Colossians, and to the Ephesians, that, when Christ "had spoiled the principalities and powers" of the world of the dead, "he ascended up on high, leading a multitude of captives." Peter himself declares, a little farther on in his epistle, "that the glad tidings were preached to the dead, that, though they had been persecuted and condemned in the flesh by the will of men, they might be blessed in the spirit by the will of God."4 Christ fulfilled the law of

4 See Rosenmuller's explanation in hoc loco.

death,5 descending to the place of separate spirits, that he might declare deliverance to the quick and the dead by coming triumphantly back and going into heaven, an evident token of the removal of the penalty of sin which hitherto had fatally doomed all men to the under world.6

Let us see if this will not enable us to explain Peter's language satisfactorily. Death, with the lower residence succeeding it, let it be remembered, was, according to the Jewish and apostolic belief, the fruit of sin, the judgment pronounced on sin. But Christ, Peter says, was sinless. "He was a lamb without blemish and without spot." "He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth." Therefore he was not exposed to death and the under world on his own account. Consequently, when it is written that "he bore our sins in his own body on the tree," that "he suffered for sins, the just for the unjust," in order to give the words their clear, full meaning it is not necessary to attribute to them the sense of a vicarious sacrifice offered to quench the anger of God or to furnish compensation for a broken commandment; but this sense, namely, that although in his sinlessness he was exempt from death, yet he "suffered for us," he voluntarily died, thus undergoing for our sakes that which was to others the penalty of their sin. The object of his dying was not to conciliate the alienated Father or to adjust the unbalanced law: it was to descend into the realm of the dead, heralding God's pardon to the captives, and to return and rise into heaven, opening and showing to his disciples the way thither. For, owing to his moral sinlessness, or to his delegated omnipotence, if he were once in the abode of the dead, he must return: nothing could keep him there. Epiphanius describes the devil complaining, after Christ had burst through his nets and dungeons, "Miserable me! what shall I do? I did not know God was concealed in that body. The son of Mary has deceived me. I imagined he was a mere man."7 In an apocryphal writing of very early date, which shows some of the opinions abroad at that time, one of the chief devils, after Christ had appeared in hell, cleaving its grisly prisons from top to bottom and releasing the captives, is represented upbraiding Satan in these terms: "O prince of all evil, author of death, why didst thou crucify and bring down to our regions a person righteous and sinless? Thereby thou hast lost all the sinners of the world."8 Again, in an ancient treatise on the Apostles' Creed, we read as follows: "In the bait of Christ's flesh was secretly inserted the hook of his divinity. This the devil knew not, but, supposing he must stay when he was

5 See King's History of the Apostles' Creed, 3d ed., pp. 234-239. "The purpose of Christ's descent was to undergo the laws of death, pass through the whole experience of man, conquer the devil, break the fetters of the captives, and fix a time for their resurrection." To the same effect, old Hilary, Bishop of Poictiers, in his commentary on Psalm cxxxviii., says, "It is a law of human necessity that, the body being buried, the soul should descend ad interos."

6 Ambrose, De Fide, etc., lib. iv. cap. 1, declares that "no one ascended to heaven until Christ, by the pledge of his resurrection, solved the chains of the under world and translated the souls of the pious." Also Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, in his fourth catechetical lecture, sect. 11, affirms "that Christ descended into the under world to deliver those who, from Adam downwards, had been imprisoned there."

7 In Assumptionem Christi.

8 Evan. Nicodemi, cap. xviii.

devoured, greedily swallowed the corpse, and the bolts of the nether world were wrenched asunder, and the ensnared dragon himself dragged from the abyss."9 Peter himself explicitly declares, "It was not possible that he should be held by death." Theodoret says, "Whoever denies the resurrection of Christ rejects his death."10 If he died, he must needs rise again. And his resurrection would demonstrate the forgiveness of sins, the opening of heaven to men, showing that the bond which had bound in despair the captives in the regions of death for so many voiceless ages was at last broken. Accordingly, "God, having loosed the chains of the under world, raised him up and set him at his own right hand."11

And now the question, narrowed down to the smallest compass, is this: What is the precise, real signification of the sacrificial and other connected terms employed by Peter, those phrases which now, by the intense associations of a long time, convey so strong a Calvinistic sense to most readers? Peter says, "Ye know that ye were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ." If there were not so much indeterminateness of thought, so much unthinking reception of traditional, confused impressions of Scripture texts, it would be superfluous to observe that by the word blood here, and in all parallel passages, is meant simply and literally death: the mere blood, the mere shedding of the blood, of Christ, of course, could have no virtue, no moral efficacy, of any sort. When the infuriated Jews cried, "His blood be on us, and on our children!" they meant, Let the responsibility of his death rest on us. When the English historian says, "Sidney gave his blood for the cause of civil liberty," the meaning is, he died for it. So, no one will deny, whenever the New Testament speaks in any way of redemption by the blood of the crucified Son of Man, the unquestionable meaning is, redemption by his death. What, then, does the phrase "redemption by the death of Christ" mean? Let it be noted here let it be particularly noticed that the New Testament nowhere in explicit terms explains the meaning of this and the kindred phrases: it simply uses the phrases without interpreting them. They are rhetorical figures of speech, necessarily, upon whatever theological system we regard them. No sinner is literally washed from his transgressions and guilt in the blood of the slaughtered Lamb. These expressions, then, are poetic images, meant to convey a truth in the language of association and feeling, the traditionary language of imagination. The determination of their precise significance is wholly a matter of fallible human construction and inference, and not a matter of inspired statement or divine revelation. This is so, beyond a question, because, we repeat, they are figures of speech, having no direct explanation in the records where they occur. The Calvinistic view of the atonement was a theory devised to explain this scriptural language. It was devised without sufficient consideration of the peculiar notions and spirit, the peculiar grade of culture, and the time, from which that language sprang. We freely admit the inadequacy of the Unitarian

9 Ruffinus, Expos. in Symb. Apost.

10 Comm. in 2 Tim. ii. 19.

11 By a mistake and a false reading, the common version has "the pains of death," instead of "the chains of the under world." The sense requires the latter. Besides, numerous manuscripts read [non ASCII characters]. See, furthermore, Rosenmuller's thorough criticism in loc. Likewise see Robinson's New Testament Greek Lexicon, in [NAC].

doctrine of the atonement to explain the figures of speech in which the apostles declare their doctrine. But, since the Calvinistic scheme was devised by human thought to explain the New Testament language, any scheme which explains that language as well has equal Scripture claims to credence; any which better explains it, with sharper, broader meaning and fewer difficulties, has superior claims to be received.

We are now prepared to state what we believe was the meaning originally associated with, and meant to be conveyed by, the phrases equivalent to "redemption by the death of Christ." In consequence of sin, the souls of all mankind, after leaving the body, were shut up in the oblivious gloom of the under world. Christ alone, by virtue of his perfect holiness, was not subject to any part of this fate. But, in fulfilment of the Father's gracious designs, he willingly submitted, upon leaving the body, to go among the dead, that he might declare the good tidings to them, and burst the bars of darkness, and return to life, and rise into heaven as a pledge of the future translation of the faithful to that celestial world, instead of their banishment into the dismal bondage below, as hitherto. The death of Christ, then, was the redemption of sinners, in that his death implied his ascent, "because it was not possible that he should be holden of death;" and his ascension visibly demonstrated the truth that God had forgiven men their sins and would receive their souls to his own abode on high.

Three very strong confirmations of the correctness of this interpretation are afforded in the declarations of Peter. First, he never even hints, in the faintest manner, that the death of Christ was to have any effect on God, any power to change his feeling or his government. It was not to make a purchasing expiation for sins and thus to reconcile God to us; but it was, by a revelation of the Father's freely pardoning love, to give us penitence, purification, confidence, and a regenerating piety, and so to reconcile us to God. He says in one place, in emphatic words, that the express purpose of Christ's death was simply "that he might lead us to God." In the same strain, in another place, he defines the object of Christ's death to be "that we, being delivered from sins, should live unto righteousness." It is plain that in literal reality he refers our marvellous salvation to the voluntary goodness of God, and not to any vicarious ransom paid in the sacrifice of Christ, when he says, "The God of all grace hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ." The death of Christ was not, then, to appease the fierce justice of God by rectifying the claims of his inexorable law, but it was to call out and establish in men all moral virtues by the power of faith in the sure gift of eternal life sealed to them through the ascension of the Savior.

For, secondly, the practical inferences drawn by Peter from the death of Christ, and the exhortations founded upon it, are inconsistent with the prevailing theory of the atonement. Upon that view the apostle would have said, "Christ has paid the debt and secured a seat in heaven for you, elected ones: therefore believe in the sufficiency of his offerings, and exult." But not so. He calls on us in this wise: "Forasmuch as Christ hath suffered for us, arm yourselves with the same mind." "Christ suffered for you, leaving an example that ye should follow his steps." The whole burden of his practical argument based on the mission of Christ is, the obligation of a religious spirit and of pure morals. He does not speak, as many modern sectarists have spoken, of the "filthy rags of righteousness;" but he says, "Live no longer in sins," "have a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price," "be ye holy in all manner of conversation," "purify your souls by obedience to the truth," "be ye a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices," "have a good conscience," "avoid evil and do good," "above all, have fervent love, for love will cover a multitude of sins." No candid person can peruse the epistle and not see that the great moral deduced in it from the mission of Christ is this: Since heaven is offered you, strive by personal virtue to be prepared for it at the judgment which shall soon come. The disciple is not told to trust in the merits of Jesus; but he is urged to "abstain from evil," and "sanctify the Lord God in his heart," and "love the brethren," and "obey the laws," and "do well," "girding up the loins of his mind in sobriety and hope." This is not Calvinism.

The third fortification of this exposition is furnished by the following fact. According to our view, the death of Christ is emphasized, not on account of any importance in itself, but as the necessary condition preliminary to his resurrection, the humiliating prelude to his glorious ascent into heaven. The really essential, significant thing is not his suffering, vicarious death, but his triumphing, typical ascension. Now, the plain, repeated statements of Peter strikingly coincide with this representation. He says, "God raised Christ up from the dead, and gave him glory, [that is, received him into heaven,] that your faith and hope might be in God." Again he writes, "Blessed be God, who according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead unto an incorruptible inheritance in heaven." Still again, he declares that "the figure of baptism, signifying thereby the answer of a good conscience toward God, saves us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is gone into heaven." According to the commonly received doctrine, instead of these last words the apostle ought to have said, "saves us by the death of him who suffered in expiation of our sins." He does not say so. Finally, in the intrepid speech that Peter made before the Jewish council, referring to their wicked crucifixion of Jesus, he says, "Him hath God raised up to his own right hand, to be a Leader and a Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins." How plainly remission of sins is here predicated, not through Christ's ignominious suffering, but through his heavenly exaltation! That exaltation showed in dramatic proof that by God's grace the dominion of the lower world was about to be broken and an access to the celestial world to be vouchsafed.

If Christ bought off our merited punishment and earned our acceptance, then salvation can no more be "reckoned of grace, but of debt." But the whole New Testament doctrine is, "that sinners are justified freely through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." "The redemption that is in Christ"! Take these words literally, and they yield no intelligible meaning. The sense intended to be conveyed or suggested by them depends on interpretation; and here disagreement arises. The Calvinist says they mean the redemption undertaken, achieved, by Christ. We say they mean the redemption proclaimed, brought to light, by Christ. The latter explanation is as close to the language as the former. Neither is unequivocally established by the statement itself. We ought therefore to adopt the one which is at once most rational and plausible in itself, and most in harmony with the peculiar opinions and culture of the person by whom, and of the time when, the document was written. All these considerations, historical, philosophical, and moral, undeniably favor our interpretation, leaving nothing to support the other save the popular theological belief of modern Protestant Christendom, a belief which is the gradual product of a few great, mistaken teachers like Augustine and Calvin.

We do not find the slightest difficulty in explaining sharply and broadly, with all its niceties of phraseology, each one of the texts urged in behalf of the prevalent doctrine of the atonement, without involving the essential features of that doctrine. Three demonstrable assertions of fact afford us all the requisite materials. First, it was a prevalent belief with the Jews, that, since death was the penalty of sin, the suffering of death was in itself expiatory of the sins of the dying man.12 Lightfoot says, "It is a common and most known doctrine of the Talmudists, that repentance and ritual sacrifice expiate some sins, death the rest. Death wipes off all unexpiated sins."13 Tholuck says, "It was a Jewish opinion that the death of the just atoned for the people."14 He quotes from the Talmud an explicit assertion to that effect, and refers to several learned authorities for further citations and confirmations.

Secondly, the apostles conceived Christ to be sinless, and consequently not on his own account exposed to death and subject to Hades. If, then, death was an atonement for sins, and he was sinless, his voluntary death was expiatory for the sins of the world; not in an arbitrary and unheard of way, according to the Calvinistic scheme, but in the common way, according to a Pharisaic notion. And thirdly, it was partly a Jewish expectation concerning the Messiah that he would,15 and partly an apostolic conviction concerning Christ that he did, break the bolts of the old Hadean prison and open the way for human ascent to heaven. As Jerome says, "Before Christ Abraham was in hell, after Christ the crucified thief was in paradise;"16 for "until the advent of Christ all alike went down into the under world, heaven being shut until Christ threw aside the flaming sword that turned every way."17

These three thoughts that death is the expiatory penalty of sin, that Christ was himself sinless, that he died as God's envoy to release the prisoners of gloom and be their pioneer to bliss leave nothing to be desired in explaining the sacrificial terms and kindred phrases employed by the apostles in reference to his mission.

Without question, Peter, like his companions, looked for the speedy return of Christ from heaven to judge all, and to save the worthy. Indications of this belief are numerously afforded in his words. "The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober and watch unto prayer." "You shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead." Here the common idea of that time namely, that the resurrection of the captives of the

12 Witsius, Dissertatio de Seculo hoc et futuro, sect. 8.

13 Lightfoot on Matt. xii. 32.

14 Comm. on John i. 29.

15 "God shall liberate the Israelites from the under world." Bertholdt's Christologia Judaorum, sect. xxxiv., (De descensu Messia ad Inferos,) note 2. "The captives shall ascend from the under world, Shechinah at their head." Schoettgen de Messia, lib. vi. cap. 5, sect. 1.

16 See his Letter to Heliodorus, Epiat. XXXV., Benedict. ed.

17 Comm. in Eccles. cap. iii. 21, et cap. ix.

under world would occur at the return of Christ is undoubtedly implied. "Salvation is now ready to be revealed in the last time." "That your faith may be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." "Be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." "Be ye examples to the flock, and when the chief Shepherd shall appear ye shall receive an unfading crown of glory." "God shall send Jesus Christ, . . . whom the heavens must receive until the times of the restitution of all things." It is evident that the author of these passages expected the second coming of the Lord Jesus to consummate the affairs of his kingdom.

If the apostle had formed definite conclusions as to the final fate of unbelieving, wicked, reprobate men, he has not stated them. He undeniably implies certain general facts upon the subject, but leaves all the details in obscurity. He adjures his readers with exceeding earnestness he over and over again adjures them to forsake every manner of sinful life, to strive for every kind of righteous conversation, that by faith and goodness they may receive the salvation of their souls. He must have supposed an opposite fate in some sort to impend over those who did otherwise, rejecting Christ, "revelling in lasciviousness and idolatry." Everywhere he makes the distinction between the faithful and the wicked prominent, and presents the idea that Christ shall come to judge them both, and shall reward the former with gladness, crowns, and glory; while it is just as clearly implied as if he had said it that the latter shall be condemned and punished. When a judge sits in trial on the good and the bad, and accepts those, plainly the inference is that he rejects these, unless the contrary be stated. What their doom is in its nature, what in its duration, is neither declared, nor inferrible from what is declared. All that the writer says on this point is substantially repeated or contained in the fourth chapter of his epistle, from verses 12 to 19. A slight explanatory paraphrase of it will make the position clear so far as it can be made clear. "Christian believers, in the fiery trials which are to try you, stand firm, even rejoicing that you are fellow sufferers with Christ, a pledge that when his glory is revealed you shall partake of it with him. See to it that you are free from crime, free from sins for which you ought to suffer; then, if persecuted and slain for your Christian profession and virtues, falter not. The terrible time preceding the second advent of your Master is at hand. The sufferings of that time will begin with the Christian household; but how much more dreadful will be the sufferings of the close of that time among the disobedient that spurn the gospel of God! If the righteous shall with great difficulty be snatched from the perils and woes encompassing that time, surely it will happen very much worse with ungodly sinners. Therefore let all who suffer in obedience to God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing."

The souls of men were confined in the under world for sin. Christ came to turn men from sin and despair to holiness and a reconciling faith in God. He went to the dead to declare to them the good tidings of pardon and approaching deliverance through the free grace of God. He rose into heaven to demonstrate and visibly exhibit the redemption of men from the under world doom of sinners. He was soon to return to the earth to complete the unfinished work of his commissioned kingdom. His accepted ones should then be taken to glory and reward. The rejected ones should Their fate is left in gloom, without a definite clew.

Recognition of Friends in A Future Life

OF all the sorrows incident to human life, none is so penetrating to gentle hearts as that which fills them with aching regrets, and, for a time, writes hollowness and vanity on their dearest treasures, when death robs them of those they love. And so, of all the questions that haunt the soul, wringing its faculties for a solution, beseeching the oracles of the universe for a response, none can have a more intense interest than gathers about the irrepressible inquiry, "Shall we ever meet again, and know, the friends we have lost? somewhere in the ample creation and in the boundless ages, join, with the old familiar love, our long parted, fondly cherished, never forgotten dead?" The grief of bereavement and the desire of reunion are experienced in an endless diversity of degrees by different persons, according as they are careless, hard, and sense bound, or thoughtful, sympathizing, and imaginative; undisciplined by the mysteries and afflictions of our mortal destiny, or profoundly tried by the disappointments and prophecies of time and fate; and as they are shadowed by the gloom of despair, or cheered by the radiance of belief. But to all who feel, even the least, the uncertain but deep monitions of the silent pall, the sad procession, and the burial mound, the impressive problem must occur, with frequency and power, Does the grave sunder us and the objects of our affection forever? or, across that dark gulf, shall we be united again in purer bonds? Outside of the atheistic dissolution and the pantheistic absorption, it is supposable that, surviving the blow of death, our spirits may return to God and run their endless course in divine solitude. On the other hand, it is supposable that, possessed with all the memories of this probationary state, blessed by the companionship of our earthly friends, we may aspire together along the interminable gradations of the world to come. If the former supposition be true, and the farewell of the dying is the announcement of an irrevocable separation, then the tears we shed over the shrouded clay, once so prized, should be distillations from Lethe's flood, to make us forget all. But if the latter be true, then our deadly seeming losses are as the partings of travellers at night to meet in the morning; and, as friend after friend retires, we should sigh to each departing spirit a kind adieu till we meet again, and let pleasing memories of them linger to mingle in the sacred day dreams of remaining life.

Evidently it is of much importance to a man which of these views he shall take; for each exerts a distinctive influence in regard to his peace of mind, his moral strength, and his religious character. On one who believes that hereafter, beyond all the partings in this land of tombs, he shall never meet the dear companions who now bless his lot, the death of friends must fall, if he be a person of strong sensibilities, as a staggering blow, awakening an agony of sorrow, taking from the sky and the earth a glory nothing can ever replace, and leaving in his heart a wretched void nothing can ever fill. Henceforth he will be deprived mostly for all felt connection between them is hopelessly sundered of the good influences they exerted on him when present: he must try, by all expedients, to forget them; think no more of their virtues, their welcome voices and kindly deeds; wipe from the tablets of his soul all fond records of their united happy days; look not to the future, let the past be as though it had never been, and absorb his thoughts and feelings in the turmoil of the present. This is his only course; and even then, if true to the holiest instincts of his soul, he will find the fatal separation has lessened his being and impoverished his life,

"For this losing is true dying; This is lordly man's down lying, This his slow but sure reclining, Star by star his world resigning."

But to him who earnestly expects soon to be restored under fairer auspices and in a deathless world to those from whom he parted as he laid their crumbling bodies in the earth, the death of friends will come as a message from the Great Father, a message solemn yet kind, laden indeed with natural sadness yet brightened by sure promise and followed by heavenly compensations. If his tears flow, they flow not in scalding bitterness from the Marah fountain of despair, but in chastened joy from the smitten rock of faith. So far from endeavoring to forget the departed, he will cling to their memories with redoubled tenderness, as a sacred trust and a redeeming power. They will be more precious to him than ever, stronger to purify and animate. Their saintly examples will attract him as never before, and their celestial voices plead from on high to win him to virtue and to heaven. The constant thought of seeing them once more, and wafting in their arms through the enchanted spaces of Paradise, will wield a sanctifying force over his spirit. They will make the invisible sphere a peopled reality to him, and draw him to God by the diffused bonds of a spiritual acquaintance and an eternal love.

Since the result in which a man rests on this subject, believing or disbelieving that he shall recognise his beloved ones the other side of the grave, exerts a deep influence on him, in one case disheartening, in the other uplifting, it is incumbent on us to investigate the subject, try to get at the truth, clear it up, and appreciate it as well as we can. It is a theme to interest us all. Who has not endeared relatives, choice friends, freshly or long ago removed from this earth into the unknown clime? In a little while, as the ravaging reaper sweeps on his way, who will not have still more there, or be there himself? Whether old acquaintance shall be all forgot or be well remembered there, is an inquiry which must profoundly interest all who have hearts to love their companions, and minds to perceive the creeping shadows of mystery drawing over us as we approach the sure destiny of age and the dim confines of the world. It is a theme, far removed from noisy strifes and vain shows, penetrating that mysterious essence of affection and thought which we are. The thing of first importance is not the conclusion we reach, but the spirit in which we seek and hold it. The Christian says to his friend, "Our souls will be united in yonder heaven." Danton, with a horrible travesty, said to his comrades on the scaffold, "Our heads will meet in that sack."

Before engaging directly in the discussion, it will be interesting to notice, for an instant, the verdict which history, in the spontaneous suppositions and rude speculations of ancient peoples, pronounces on this subject.1 Among their various opinions about the state after death, it is a prominent circumstance that they generally agree in conceiving it as a social state in which personal likenesses and memories are retained, fellow countrymen are grouped together, and friends united. This is minutely true of those nations with the details of whose faith we are acquainted, and is implied in the general belief of all others, except those who expected the individual spirit to be absorbed in the soul of the universe. Homer shows Ulysses and Virgil in like manner shows Aneas upon his entrance into the other world mutually recognising his old comrades and recognised by them. The two heroes whose inseparable friendship on earth was proverbial are still together in Elysium:

"Then, side by side, along the dreary coast Advanced Achilles' and
Patroclus' ghost, A friendly pair."

In this representation that there was a full recognition of acquaintances, all the accounts of the other world given in Greek and Roman literature harmonize. The same is true of the accounts contained in the literature of the ancient Hebrews. In the Book of Genesis, when Jacob hears of the death of his favorite child, he exclaims, "I shall go down to my son Joseph in the under world, mourning." When the witch of Endor raised the ghost of Samuel, Saul knew him by the description she gave of him as he rose. The monarch shades in the under world are pictured by Isaiah as recognising the shade of the king of Babylon and rising from their sombre thrones to greet him with mockery. Ezekiel shows us each people of the heathen nations in the under world in a company by themselves. When David's child died, the king sorrowfully exclaimed, "He will not return to me; but I shall go to him." All these passages are based on the conception of a gloomy subterranean abode where the ghosts of the dead are reunited after their separation at death on earth. An old commentator on the Koran says a Mohammedan priest was once asked how the blessed in paradise could be happy when missing some near relative or dear friend whom they were thus forced to suppose in hell. He replied, God will either cause believers to forget such persons or else to rest in expectation of their coming. The anecdote shows affectingly that the same yearning heart and curiosity are possessed by Moslem and Christian. A still more impressive case in point is furnished by a picture in a Buddhist temple in China. The painting represents the story of the priest Lo Puh, who, on passing into paradise at death, saw his mother, Yin Te, in hell. He instantly descended into the infernal court, Tsin Kwang Wang, where she was suffering, and, by his valor, virtues, and intercessions, rescued her. The picture vividly portraying the whole story may be seen and studied at the present time by Christian missionaries who enter that temple of the benevolent Buddha.2 From the faith of many other nations illustrations might be brought of the same fact, that the great common instinct which has led men to believe in a future life has at the same time caused them to believe that in that life there would be a union and recognition of friends. Let this far reaching historical fact be taken at its just value,

1 Alexius, Tod and Wiedersehen. Eine Gedankenfolge der besten Schriftsteller aller Zeiten und Volker.

2 Asiatic Journal, 1840, p. 211.

while we proceed to the labor in hand. The fact referred to is of some value, because, being an expression of the heart of man as God made it, it is an indication of his will, a prophecy.

There are three ways of trying the problem of future recognition. The cool, skeptical class of persons will examine the present related facts of the case; argue from what they now know; test the question by induction and inference. Let us see to what results they will thus be led. In the first place, we learn upon reflection that we now distinguish each other by the outward form, physical proportion, and combination of looks, tones of voice, and other the like particulars. Every one has his individuality in these respects, by which he is separable from others. It may be hastily inferred, then, that if we are to know our friends hereafter it will be through the retention or the recovery of their sensible peculiarities. Accordingly, many believe the soul to be a perfect reflection or immaterial fac simile of the body, the exact correspondence in shadowy outline of its gross tabernacle, and consequently at once recognizable in the disembodied state. The literature of Christendom we may almost say of the world teems with exemplifications of this idea. Others, arguing from the same acknowledged premises, conclude that future recognition will be secured by the resurrection of the material body as it was in all its perfection, in renovated and unfading prime. But, leaving out of view the inherent absurdity of the doctrine of a physical resurrection, there is a fatal difficulty in the way of both these supposititious modes of mutual knowledge in another world. It is this. The outward form, features, and expression sometimes alter so thoroughly that it is impossible for us to recognise our once most intimate companions. Cases are not rare of this kind. Let one pass in absence from childhood to maturity, and who that had not seen him in the mean time could tell that it was he? The trouble arising thence is finely illustrated by Shakspeare in the motherly solicitude of Constance, who, on learning that her young son has been imprisoned by his uncle, King John, and will probably be kept until he pines to death, cries in anguish to her confessor,

"Father cardinal, I have heard you say
That we shall see and know our friends in heaven:
If that be true, I shall see my boy again;
For, since the birth of Cain, the first male child,
To him that did but yesterday suspire,
There was not such a gracious creature born.
But now will canker sorrow eat my bud
And chase the native beauty from his cheek,
And he will look as hollow as a ghost,
As dim and meagre as an ague's fit;
And so he'll die; and, rising so again,
When I shall meet him in the court of heaven
I shall not know him: therefore never, never
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more."

Owing to the changes of all sorts which take place in the body, future recognition cannot safely depend upon that or upon any resemblance of the spirit to it. Besides, not the faintest proof can be adduced of any such perceptible correspondence subsisting between them.

Turning again to the facts of experience, we find that it is not alone, nor indeed chiefly, by their visible forms and features that we know our chosen ones. We also, and far more truly, know them by the traits of their characters, the elements of their lives, the effluence of their spirits, the magic atmosphere which surrounds them, the electric thrill and communication which vivify and conjoin our souls. And even in the exterior, that which most reveals and distinguishes each is not the shape, but the expression, the lights and shades, reflected out from the immortal spirit shrined within. We know each other really by the mysterious motions of our souls. And all these things endure and act uninterrupted though the fleshly frame alter a thousand times or dissolve in its native dust. The knowledge of a friend, then, being independent of the body, spirits may be recognised in the future state by the associations mutually surrounding them, the feelings connecting them. Amidst all the innumerable thronging multitudes, through all the immeasurable intervening heights and depths, of the immaterial world, remembered and desired companions may be selected and united by inward laws that act with the ease and precision of chemical affinities. We may therefore recognise each other by the feelings which now connect us, and which shall spontaneously kindle and interchange when we meet in heaven, as the signs of our former communion.

It needs but little thought to perceive that by this view future recognition is conditional, being made to depend on the permanence of our sympathies: there must be the same mutual relations, affinities, fitness to awaken the same emotions upon approaching each other's sphere, or we shall neither know nor be known. But in fact our sympathies and aversions change as much as our outward appearance does. The vices and virtues, loves and hatreds, of our hearts alter, the peculiar characteristics of our souls undergo as great a transformation, sometimes, as thorough a revolution, as the body does in the interval between childhood and manhood. These changes going on in our associates frequently change our feelings towards them, heightening or diminishing our affection, creating a new interest, destroying an old one, now making enemies lovers, and now thoroughly alienating very friends. Such fundamental alterations of character may occur in us, or in our friend, before we meet in the unseen state, that we shall no more recognise each other's spirits than we should know each other on earth after a separation in which our bodily appearances and voices had been entirely changed. These considerations would induce us to think that recognition hereafter is not sure, but turns on the condition that we preserve a remembrance, desire, and adaptedness for one another.

If now the critical inquirer shall say there is no evidence, and it is incredible, that the body will be restored to a future life, or that the soul has any resemblance to the body by which it may be identified, furthermore, if he shall maintain that the doctrine of the revelation and recognition of the souls of friends in another life by an instinctive feeling, a mysterious attraction and response, is fanciful, an overdrawn conclusion of the imagination, not warranted by a stern induction of the average realities of the subject, and if he shall then ask, how are we to distinguish our former acquaintances among the hosts of heaven? there is one more fact of experience which meets the case and answers his demand. When long absence and great exposures have wiped off all the marks by which old companions knew each other, it has frequently happened that they have met and conversed with indifference, each being ignorant of whom the other was; and so it has continued until, by some indirect means, some accidental allusion, or the agency of a third person, they have been suddenly revealed. Then, with throbbing hearts, in tears and rapture, they have rushed into each other's arms, with an instantaneous recurrence of their early friendship in all its original warmth, fulness, and flooding associations. Many such instances are related in books of romance with strict truth to the actual occurrences of life. Several instances of it are authenticated in the early history of America, when children, torn from their homes by the Indians, were recovered by their parents after twenty or thirty years had elapsed and they were identified by circumstantial evidence. Let any parent ask his heart, any true friend ask his heart, if, discovering by some foreign means the object of his love, he would not embrace him with just as ardent a gratitude and devotion as though there were no outward change and they had known one another at sight. So, in the life beyond the grave, if we are not able to recognise our earthly companions directly, either by spiritual sight or by intuitive feeling, we may obtain knowledge of each other indirectly by comparison of common recollections, or by the mediation of angels, or by some other Divine arrangement especially prepared for that purpose. And therefore, whether in heaven we look or feel as we do here or not, whether there be any provision in our present constitution for future recognition or not, is of no consequence. In a thousand ways the defect can be remedied, if such be the will of God. And that such is his will every relevant fact and consideration would seem to prove. It is a consistent and seemingly requisite continuation and completion of that great scheme of which this life is a part. It is an apparently essential element and fulfilment of the wonderful apparatus of retribution, reward, and discipline, intended to educate us as members of God's eternal family. Because from the little which we now understand we cannot infer with plainness and certainty the precise means and method by which we can discriminate our friends in heaven need be no obstacle to believing the fact itself; for there are millions of undoubted truths whose conditions and ways of operation we can nowise fathom. Upon the whole, then, we conclude that we cannot by our mere understandings decide with certainty the question concerning future recognition; but we are justified in trusting to the accuracy of that doctrine, since it rests safely with the free pleasure of God, who is both infinitely able and disposed to do what is best, and we cannot help believing that it is best for us to be with and love hereafter those whom we are with and love here.3

There is a way of dealing with the general subject before us wholly different from the course thus far pursued. Ceasing to act the philosopher, laying aside all arguments and theories, all dry speculations, we may come as simple believers to the Christian Scriptures and investigate their teachings to accept whatever they pronounce as the word of God's truth. Let us see to what results we shall thus be led. Searching the New Testament to learn its doctrine

3 Munch, Werden wir uns wiedersehen nach dem Tode. This work, based on the Kantian philosophy, denies future recognition. There is an able reply to it by Vogel, Ueber die Hoffnung des Wiedersehens.

in regard to reunion in a future state, we are very soon struck with surprise at the mysterious reserve, so characteristic of its pages, on this entire theme. Instead of a full and minute revelation blazing along the track of the gospel pens, a few fragmentary intimations, incidental hints, scattered here and there, are the substance of all that it expressly says. But though little is directly declared, yet much is plainly implied: especially the one great inference with which we are now concerned may be unequivocally and repeatedly drawn. In the parable of the Rich Man and the Beggar the Savior pictures forth the recognition of their souls in the disembodied state. Dives also is described as recollecting with intense interest, with the most anxious sympathy, his endangered brethren on earth. Although this occurs in a parable, yet it is likely that so prominent and vital a feature of it would be moulded, as to its essential significance, in accordance with what the author intended should be received as truth. Jesus also speaks of many who should come from the east and the west and sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; from which it would appear that the patriarchs are together in fellowship and that the righteous of after times were to be received with them in mutual acquaintance. On the Mount of Transfiguration the witnessing disciples saw Moses and Elias together with Jesus, and recognised them, probably from their resemblance to traditional descriptions of them. Jesus always represented the future state as a society. He said to his followers, "I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am there ye may be also;" and he prayed to his Father that his disciples might be with him where he was going. At another time he declared of little children, "Their angels always behold the face of my Father in heaven:" he also taught that "there is joy in heaven over every sinner that repenteth;" passages that presuppose such a community of faculties, sympathies, in heaven and earth, in angels and men, as certainly implies the doctrine of continued knowledge and fellowship. When heaven was opened before the dying Stephen, he saw and instantly knew his Divine Master, the Lord Jesus, and called to him to welcome his ascending spirit. Paul writes to the Thessalonians that he would not have them sorrow concerning the dead as those who have no hope, assuring them that when Christ reappears they shall all be united again. In the Apocalypse, John saw, in a vision, the souls of the martyrs, who had died for the faith of the gospel, together, under the altar. From community of suffering and a common abode together in heaven we may safely infer their recognition of each other. The Gospels declare that Christ after his death remembered his disciples and came back to them to assure them that they should rejoin him on high; and the apostles assert that we are to be with Christ and to be like him in the future state. It follows from the admission of these declarations that we shall remember our friends and be united with them in conscious knowledge. Few, and brief, and vague as the utterances of the Scriptures are in relation to this theme, they necessarily involve all the results of an avowed doctrine. They undeniably involve the supposition that in the other life we shall be conscious personalities as here, retaining our memories and constituting a society. From these implications the fact of the future recognition of friends irresistibly results, unless there be some special interference to prevent it; and such an interposition there is no hint of and can be no reason for fearing.

Such is really all that we can learn from the Scriptures on the subject of our inquiry.4 Its indirectness and brevity would convince us that God did not intend to betray to us in clear light the secrets of the shrouded future, that for some reason it is best that his teaching should be so reserved, and leave us to the haunting wonder, the anxious surmise, the appalling mystery, the alluring possibilities, that now meet our gaze on the unmoving veil of death. God intends we shall trust in him without knowledge, and by faith, not by sight, pursue his guidance into the silent and unknown land.

Therefore, after analyzing the relevant facts of present experience and inferring what we can from them, and after studying the Scriptures and finding what they say, there is yet another method of considering the problem of recognition in the future state. That is without caring for critical discussion, without deferring to extraneous authority, we may follow the gravitating force of instinct, imagination, and moral reason. We are made to love and depend on each other. The longer, the more profoundly, we know and admire the good, the more our being becomes intertwined with theirs, so much the more intensely we desire to be with them always, and so much the more awful is the agony of separation. This, what is it but great Nature's testimony, God's silent avowal, that we are to meet in eternity? Can the fearful anguish of bereavement be gratuitous? can the yearning prophecies of the smitten heart be all false? Belief in reunion hereafter is spontaneously adopted by humanity. We therefore esteem it divinely ordered or true. Without that soothing and sustaining trust, the unrelieved, intolerable wretchedness in many cases would burst through the fortress of the mind, hurl reason from its throne, and tear the royal affections and their attendants in the trampled dust of madness. Many a rarely gifted soul, unknown in his nameless privacy of life, has been so conjoined with a worthy peer, through precious bonds of unutterable sympathy, that, rather than be left behind, "the divided half of such a friendship as had mastered time," he has prayed that they, dying at once, might, involved together, hover across the dolorous strait to the other shore, and

"Arrive at last the blessed goal
Where He that died in Holy Land
Might reach them out the shining hand
And take them as a single soul."

Denied that inmost wish, the rest of his widowed life below has been one melancholy strain of "In Memoriam." Many a faithful and noble mourner, whose garnered love and hope have been blighted for this world, would tell you that, without meeting his lost ones there, heaven itself would be no heaven to him. In such a state of soul we must expect to know again in an unfading clime the cherished dead. That belief is of Divine inspiration, an arrangement to heal the deadly wounds of sorrow. It is madness not to think it a verity. Who believes, as he shall float through the ambrosial airs of heaven, he could touch, in passing, the radiant robes of his chosen friends without a thrill of recognition, the prelude to a blissful and immortal communion? Is there not truth in the poet's picture of the meeting of child and parent in heaven?

4 Harbaugh, The Heavenly Recognition. Gisborne, Recollections of Friends in the World to Come. Muston, Perpetuation of Christian Friendship.

"It was not, mother, that I knew thy face: The luminous eclipse that is on it now, Though it was fair on earth, would have made it strange Even to one who knew as well as he loved thee; But my heart cried out in me, Mother!"

Think of the unfathomable yearnings, the infinite ecstasies of desire and faith from age to age swelling in the very heart of the world, all set on the one hope of future union, and who then can believe that God will coldly blast them all? They are innocent, they are holy, they are meritorious, they are unspeakably dear. We would not destroy them; and God will not.

Man's life is the true fable of that beautiful youth, Narcissus, who had a twin sister of remarkable loveliness, strongly resembling himself, and to whom he was most tenderly attached. She dies young. He frequents fountains to gaze upon his own image reflected in the waters, it seeming to him the likeness of her he has lost. He is in pity transformed into a flower on the border of a stream, where, bending on his fragile stem, he seeks his image in the waters murmuring by, until he fades and dies. Has not God, the all loving Author who composed the sweet poem of Man and Nature, written at the close a reconciling Elysium wherein these pure lovers, the fond Narcissus and his echo mate, shall wander in perennial bliss, their embracing forms mirrored in unruffled fountains?

Looking now for the conclusion of the whole matter, we find that it lies in three different aspects, both of inquiring thought and of practical morality, according to the lights and modes in which three different classes of minds approach it. To the consistent metaphysician, reasoning rigidly on grounds of science and philosophy, every thing pertaining to the methods and circumstances of the future life is an affair of entire uncertainty and hypothesis.5 If in the future state the soul retains its individuality as an identical force, form, life, and memory, and if associates in the present state are brought together, it is probable that old friends will recognise each other. But if they are oblivious of the past, if they are incommunicably separated in space or state, if one progresses so much farther that the other can never overtake him, if the personal soul blends its individual consciousness with the unitary consciousness of the Over Soul, if it commences a new career from a fresh psychical germ, then, by the terms, there will be no mutual recognition. In that case his comfort and his duty are to know that the anguish and longing he now feels will cease then; to trust in the benignity of the Infinite Wisdom, who knows best what to appoint for his creatures; and to submit with harmonizing resignation to the unalterable decree, offering his private wish a voluntary sacrifice on the altar of natural piety. That he shall know his friends hereafter is not impossible, not improbable; neither is it certain. He may desire it, expect it, but not with speculative pride dogmatically affirm it, nor with insisting egotism presumptuously demand it.

5 Gravell, Das Wiedersehen nach dem Tode. Wie es nur sein konne.

To the uncritical Christian the recognising reunion of friends in heaven is an unshaken assurance.6 There is nothing to disturb his implicit reception of the plain teaching of Scripture. The legitimate exhortations of his faith are these. Mourn not too bitterly nor too long over your absent dead; for you shall meet them in an immortal clime. As the last hour comes for your dearest ones or for yourself, be of good cheer; for an imperishable joy is yours. You:

"Cannot lose the hope that many a year
Hath shone on a gleaming way,
When the walls of life are closing round
And the sky grows sombre gray."

Put not away the intruding thoughts of the departed, but let them often recur. The dead are constant. You know not how much they may think of you, how near they may be to you. Will you pass to meet them not having thought of them for years, having perhaps forgotten them? Let your mind have its nightly firmament of religious communion, beneath which white and sable memories shall walk, and the sphered spirits of your risen friends, like stars, shed down their holy rays to soothe your feverish cares and hush every murmuring doubt to rest. From the dumb heavings of your loving and trustful heart, sometimes exclaim, Parents who nurtured and watched over me with unwearied affection, I would remember you oft, and love you well, and so live that one day I may meet you at the right hand of God. Early friends, so close and dear once, who in the light of young romance trod with me life's morning hills, neither your familiar faces nor your sweet communion are forgotten by me: I fondly think of you, and aspire towards you, and pray for a purer soul, that I may mount to your celestial circle at last;

"For many a tear these eyes must weep,
And many a sin must be forgiven,
Ere these pale lids shall sink to sleep,
Ere you and I shall meet in heaven."

Blessed Jesus, elder Brother of our race, who sittest now by thy Father's throne, or pacest along the crystal coast as a leader, chief among ten thousand, whose condescending brow the bloody thorns no longer press, but the dazzling crown of thy Divinity encircles, oh, remember us, poor erring pilgrims after thine earthly steps; pity us, help us, and after death bring us to thy home.

To the sympathetic poet, the man of sentiment and meditation, who views the question from the position of the heart, in the glory and vistas of the imagination, but with all the known facts and relations of the subject lying bare under his sight, the uniting restoration, in another sphere, of earth's broken ties and parted friends, is an unappeasable craving of the soul, in harmony with the moral law, powerfully prophesied to his experience from all quarters, and seemingly confirmed to his hopes by every promise of God and nature.7

6 Grafe, Biblische Beitrage zu der Frage, Werden wir uns wiedersehen nach dem Tode.

7 Engel, Wir werden uns wiedersehen. Halst, Beleuchtung der
Hauptgrunde fur den Glauben an Erinnerung und Wiedersehen nach dem
Tode. Streicher, Neue Beitrage zur Kritik des Glaubens an
Ruckerinnerung nach dem Tode.

Received as a truth, it is a well of inexhaustible comfort, making experience a green oasis where it overflows. The denial of it as a proven falsehood is a withering blast of dust blowing on the friendly caravan of sojourners in the desert of life. If existence is the enjoyment of a largess of social love, and death is to have a solitary hand snatch it all away forever, how dismal is the prospect to the poor heart that loves and clings, loses and despairs, and can only falter hopelessly on! It cannot be so. Love is the true prophet. Heaven will restore the treasures earth has lost.

The mourner by the grave! Eve convulsed over the form of Abel! Jesus weeping where Lazarus lay! America embracing the urn of Washington! The Genius of Humanity at the Tomb of the Past! It is the most pathetic spectacle of the world. As in the old myth the pelican, hovering over her dead broodlets, pierced her own breast in agony and fluttered there until by the fanning of her wings above them and the dropping of her warm blood on them they were brought to life again, so the great Mother of men seems in history to brood over the ashes of departed ages, dropping the tears of her grief and faith into the future to restore her deceased children to life and draw them together within her embrace. And that sublime Rachel will not easily be comforted except when her thoughts, migrating whither her offspring have gone, seem to find them happy in some happy heaven.

The poet, lover of his race, who cannot trust his happier instinct, but perforce believes that beyond the sepulchral line of mortality he shall know no more of his friends, may find, as helps to a willing acquiescence in what is fated, either one of two possible contemplations.8 He may sadly lay upon his heart the stifling solace, There will be no baffled wants nor unhappiness, but all will be over when hic jacet is sculptured on the headstone of my grave. Or, with measureless rebound of faith, he may crowd the capacity of his soul with the mysterious presentiment, In the unchangeable fulness of an infinite bliss, all specialties will be merged and forgotten, and I shall be one of those to whom "the wearisome disease" of remembered sorrow and anticipated joy "is an alien thing."

8 Wieland's Euthanasia expresses disbelief in the preservation of personality and consciousness after death. The same ground had been taken in the work published anonymously at Halle in 1775, Plato and Leibnitz jenseits des Styx. See, on the other side of the question, Wohlfahrt, Tempel der Unsterblichkeit, oder neue Anthologie der wichtigsten Ausspruche, besonders neuerer Weisen uber Wiedersehen u. s. w.

Explanatory Survey of the Field and Its Myths

SURVEYING the thought of mankind upon the subject of a future life, as thus far examined, one can hardly fail to be struck by the multitudinous variety of opinions and pictures it presents. Whence and how arose this heterogeneous mass of notions?

In consequence of the endowments with which God has created man, the doctrine of a future life arises as a normal fact in the development of his experience. But the forms and accompaniments of the doctrine, the immense diversity of dress and colors it appears in, are subject to all the laws and accidents that mould and clothe the products within any other department of thought and literature. We must refer the ethnic conceptions of a future state to the same sources to which other portions of poetry and philosophy are referred, namely, to the action of sentiment, fancy, and reason, first; then to the further action, reaction, and interaction of the pictures, dogmas, and reasonings of authoritative poets, priests, and philosophers on one side, and of the feeling, faith, and thought of credulous multitudes and docile pupils on the other. In the light of these great centres of intellectual activity, parents of intellectual products, there is nothing pertaining to the subject before us, however curious, which may not be intelligibly explained, seen naturally to spring out of certain conditions of man's mind and experience as related with the life of society and the phenomena of the world.

So far as the views of the future life set forth in the religions of the ancient nations constitute systematically developed and arranged schemes of doctrine and symbol, the origin of them therefore needs no further explanation than is furnished by a contemplation of the regulated exercise of the speculative and imaginative faculties. But so far as those representations contain unique, grotesque, isolated particulars, their production is accounted for by this general law: In the early stages of human culture, when the natural sensibilities are intensely preponderant in power, and the critical judgment is in abeyance, whatever strongly moves the soul causes a poetical secretion on the part of the imagination.1 Thus the rainbow is personified; a waterfall is supposed to be haunted by spiritual beings; a volcano with fiery crater is seen as a Cyclops with one flaming eye in the centre of his forehead. This law holds not only in relation to impressive objects or appearances in nature, but also in relation to occurrences, traditions, usages. In this way innumerable myths arise, explanatory or amplifying thoughts secreted by the stimulated imagination and then narrated as events. Sometimes these tales are given and received in good faith for truth, as Grote abundantly proves in his volume on Legendary Greece; sometimes they are clearly the gleeful play of the fancy, as when it is said that the hated infant Herakles having been put to Hera's breast as she lay asleep in heaven, she, upon waking, thrust him away, and the lacteal fluid, streaming athwart the firmament, originated the Milky Way! To apply this law to our special subject:

1 Chambers's Papers for the People, vol. i.: The Myth, p. 1.

What would be likely to work more powerfully on the minds of a crude, sensitive people, in an early stage of the world, with no elaborate discipline of religious thought, than the facts and phenomena of death? Plainly, around this centre there must be deposited a vast quantity of ideas and fantasies. The task is to discriminate them, trace their individual origin, and classify them.

One of the most interesting and difficult questions connected with the subject before us is this: What, in any given time and place, were the limits of the popular belief? How much of the current representations in relation to another life were held as strict verity? What portions were regarded as fable or symbolism? It is obvious enough that among the civilized nations of antiquity the distinctions of literal statement, allegory, historic report, embellished legend, satire, poetic creation, philosophical hypothesis, religious myth, were more or less generally known. For example, when Aschylus makes one of his characters say, "Yonder comes a herald: so Dust, Clay's thirsty sister, tells me," the personification, unquestionably, was as purposed and conscious as it is when a poet in the nineteenth century says, "Thirst dived from the brazen glare of the sky and clutched me by the throat." So, too, when Homer describes the bag of Aolus, the winds, in possession of the sailors on board Ulysses' ship, the half humorous allegory cannot be mistaken for religious faith. It is equally obvious that these distinctions were not always carefully observed, but were often confounded. Therefore, in respect to the faith of primitive times, it is impossible to draw any broad, fixed lines and say conclusively that all on this side was consciously considered as fanciful play or emblem, all on that side as earnest fact. Each particular in each case must be examined by itself and be decided on its own merits by the light and weight of the moral probabilities. For example, if there was any historic basis for the myth of Herakles dragging Cerberus out of Hades, it was that this hero forcibly entered the Mysteries and dragged out to light the enactor of the part of the three headed dog. The aged North man, committing martial suicide rather than die in his peaceful bed, undoubtedly accepted the ensanguined picture of Valhalla as a truth. Virgil, dismissing Aneas from the Tartarean realm through "the ivory gate by which false dreams and fictitious visions are wont to issue," plainly wrought as a poet on imaginative materials.

It should be recollected that most of the early peoples had no rigid formularies of faith like the Christian creeds. The writings preserved to us are often rather fragments of individual speculations and hopes than rehearsals of public dogmas. Plato is far from revealing the contemporaneous belief of Greece in the sense in which Thomas Aquinas reveals the contemporaneous belief of Christendom. In Egypt, Persia, Rome, among every cultured people, there were different classes of minds, the philosophers, the priests, the poets, the warriors, the common multitude, whose modes of thinking were in contrast, whose methods of interpreting their ancestral traditions and the phenomena of human destiny were widely apart, whose respective beliefs had far different boundaries. The openly skeptical Euripides and Lucian are to be borne in mind as well as the apparently credulous Hesiod and Homer. Of course the Fables of Asop were not literally credited. Neither, as a general thing, were the Metamorphoses of Ovid. With the ancients, while there was a general national cast of faith, there were likewise varieties of individual and sectarian belief and unbelief, skepticism and credulity, solemn reason and recreative fancy.

The people of Lystra, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, actually thought Barnabas and Paul were Zeus and Hermes, and brought oxen and garlands to offer them the sacrifices appropriate to those deities. Peisistratus obtained rule over Athens by dressing a stately woman, by the name of Phye, as Athene, and passing off her commands as those of the tutelary goddess. Herodotus ridicules the people for unsuspiciously accepting her.2 The incredibleness of a doctrine is no obstacle to a popular belief in it. Whosoever thinks of the earnest reception of the dogma of transubstantiation the conversion of a wheaten wafer into the infinite God by nearly three quarters of Christendom at this moment, must permit the paradox to pass unchallenged. Doubtless the closing eye of many an expiring Greek reflected the pitiless old oarsman plying his frost cold boat across the Stygian ferry, and his failing ear caught the rush of the Phlegethonian surge. It is equally certain that, at the same time, many another laughed at these things as childish fictions, fitted only to scare "the baby of a girl."

Stricken memory, yearning emotion, kindled fancy, a sensitive and timorous observation of natural phenomena, rustling leaves, wavering shadows, apparent effects of unknown causes, each is a superstitious mother of beliefs. The Sonora Indians say that departed souls dwell among the caves and rocks of the cliffs, and that the echoes often heard there are their voices. Ruskin suggests that the cause of the Greeks surrounding the lower world residence of Persephone with poplar groves was that "the frailness, fragility, and inconstancy of the leafage of the poplar tree resembled the fancied ghost people." We can very easily imagine how, in the breeze at the entrance to some subterranean descent,

"A ghostly rank Of poplars, like a halted train of shades,
Trembled."

The operations of fierce passions, hate, fright, and rage, in a brain boiling with blood and fire, make pictures which the savage afterwards holds in remembrance as facts. He does not by reflection consciously distinguish the internal acts and sights of the mind from objective verities. Barbarians as travellers and psychologists have repeatedly observed usually pay great attention to the vagaries of madmen, the doings and utterances of the insane. These persons are regarded as possessed by higher beings. Their words are oracles: the horrible shapes, the grotesque scenes, which their disordered and inflamed faculties conjure up, are eagerly caught at, and such accounts of them as they are able to make out are treasured up as revelations. This fact is of no slight importance as an element in the hinting basis of the beliefs of uncultivated tribes. Many a vision of delirium, many a raving medley of insanity, has been accepted as truth.3 Another phenomenon, closely allied to the former, has wrought in a similar manner and still more widely. It has been a common superstition with barbarous nations in every part of the world, from Timbuctoo to Siberia, to suppose that dreams are real

2 Lib. i. cap. 60.

3 De Boismont, Rational History of Hallucinations, ch. 15: Of Hallucinations considered in a Psychological, Historical, and Religious Point of View.

adventures which the soul passes through, flying abroad while the body lies, a dormant shell, wrapped in slumber. The power of this influence in nourishing a copious credulity may easily be imagined.

The origin of many notions touching a future state, found in literature, is to be traced to those rambling thoughts and poetic reveries with which even the most philosophical minds, in certain moods, indulge themselves. For example, Sir Isaac Newton "doubts whether there be not superior intelligencies who, subject to the Supreme, oversee and control the revolutions of the heavenly bodies." And Goethe, filled with sorrow by the death of Wieland, musing on the fate of his departed friend, solemnly surmised that he had become the soul of a world in some far realm of space. The same mental exercises which supply the barbarian superstitions reappear in disciplined minds, on a higher plane and in more refined forms. Culture and science do not deliver us from all illusion and secure us sober views conformed to fact. Still, what we think amid the solid realities of waking life, fancy in her sleep disjointedly reverberates from hollow fields of dream. The metaphysician or theologian, instead of resting contented with mere snatches and glimpses, sets himself deliberately to reason out a complete theory. In these elaborate efforts many an opinion and metaphor, plausible or absurd, sweet or direful, is born and takes its place. There is in the human mind a natural passion for congruity and completeness, a passion extremely fertile in complementary products. For example, the early Jewish notion of literally sitting down at table with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, in the resurrection, was gradually developed by accretion of assisting particulars into all the details of a consummate banquet, at which Leviathan was to be the fish, Behemoth the roast, and so on.4 In the construction of doctrines or of discourses, one thought suggests, one premise or conclusion necessitates, another. This genetic application is sometimes plainly to be seen even in parts of incoherent schemes. For instance, the conception that man has returned into this life from anterior experiences of it is met by the opposing fact that he does not remember any preceding career. The explanatory idea is at once hit upon of a fountain of oblivion a river Lethe from which the disembodied soul drinks ere it reappears. Once establish in the popular imagination the conception of the Olympian synod of gods, and a thousand dramatic tales of action and adventure, appropriate to the characters of the divine personages, will inevitably follow.

The interest, cunning, and authority of priesthoods are another source of prevailing opinions concerning a life to come. Many nations, early and late, have been quite under the spiritual direction of priests, and have believed almost every thing they said. Numerous motives conspire to make the priest concoct fictions and exert his power to gain credence for them. He must have an alluringly colored elysium to reward his obedient disciples. When his teachings are rejected and his authority mocked, his class isolation and incensed pride find a natural satisfaction in threatening the reprobate aliens that a rain of fire will one day wash them down the smoking gulfs of sulphur. The Maronites, a sect of Catholic Christians in Syria, purchase of their priests a few yards of land in heaven, to secure a residence there when

4 Corrodi, Gesch. des Chiliasmns, th. i. abschn. 15: Gastmahl des Leviathan.

they die.5 The Siamese Buddhists accumulate silver and bury it in secret, to supply the needs of the soul during its wandering in the separate state. "This foolish opinion robs the state of immense sums. The lords and rich men erect pyramids over these treasures, and for their greater security place them in charge of the talapoins!"6 When, for some reason or other, either as a matter of neatness and convenience, or as a preventive of mutual clawing, or for some to us unimaginable end, the authoritative Skald wished to induce the Northmen to keep their nails close cut, he devised the awful myth of the ship Nagelfra, and made his raw minded people swallow it as truth. The same process was followed unquestionably in a thousand other cases, in different particulars of thought and aim, in different parts of the world.

In a bird's eye survey of the broad field we have traversed, one cannot help noticing the marked influence of the present scenery and habits, history and associations, of a people in deciding the character of their anticipations of the future. The Esquimaux paradise is surrounded by great pots full of boiled walrus meat. The Turk's heaven is a gorgeously idealized pleasure garden or celestial harem. As the apparition of a man wanders into the next state, a shadow of his present state floats over into the future with him. The Hereafter is the image flung by the Now. Heaven and hell are the upward and downward echoes of the earth. Like the spectre of the Brocken on the Hartz Mountains, our ideas of another life are a reflection of our present experience thrown in colossal on the cloud curtains of futurity. Charles Lamb, pushing this elucidating observation much further, says, "The shapings of our heavens are the modifications of our constitutions." A tribe of savages has been described who hoped to go after death to their forefathers in an under ground elysium whose glory consisted in eternal drunkenness, that being their highest conception of bliss and glory. What can be more piteous than the contemplation of those barbarians whose existence here is so wretched that even their imagination and faith have lost all rebound, and who conceive of the land of souls only as poorer and harder than this, expecting to be tasked and beaten there by stronger spirits, and to have nothing to eat? The relation of master and servant, the tyranny of class, is reflected over into the other life in those aristocratic notions which break out frequently in the history of our subject. The Pharisees some of them, at least excluded the rabble from the resurrection. The Peruvians confined their heaven to the nobility. The New Zealanders said the souls of the Atuas, the nobles, were immortal, but the Cookees perished entirely. Meiners declares that the Russians, even so late as the times of Peter the Great, believed that only the Czar and the boyars could reach heaven. It was almost a universal custom among savage nations when a chieftain died to slay his wives and servants, that their ghosts might accompany his to paradise, to wait on him there as here. Even among the Greeks, as Bulwer has well remarked, "the Hades of the ancients was not for the many; and the dwellers of Elysium are chiefly confined to the oligarchy of earth."

The coarse and selfish assumption on the part of man of superiority over woman, based on his brawniness and tyranny, has sometimes appeared in the form of an assertion that

5 Churchill, Mt. Lebanon, vol. iii. ch. 7.

6 Pallegoix, Description du Royaume de Siam, ch. xx. p. 113.

women have no souls, or at least cannot attain to the highest heaven possible for man. The former statement has been vulgarly attributed to the Moslem creed, but with utter falsity. A pious and aged female disciple once asked Mohammed concerning her future condition in heaven. The prophet replied, "There will not be any old women in heaven." She wept and bewailed her fate, but was comforted upon the gracious assurance from the prophet's lips, "They will all be young again when there." The Buddhists relate that Gotama once directed queen Prajapati, his foster mother, to prove by a miracle the error of those who supposed it impossible for a woman to attain Nirwana. She immediately made as many repetitions of her own form as filled the skies of all the sakwalas, and, after performing various wonders, died and rose into Nirwana, leading after her five hundred virtuous princesses.7

How spontaneously the idiosyncrasies of men in the present are flung across the abysm into the future state is exhibited amusingly, and with a rough pathos, in an old tradition of a dialogue between Saint Patrick and Ossian. The bard contrasts the apostle's pitiful psalms with his own magnificent songs, and says that the virtuous Fingal is enjoying the rewards of his valor in the aerial existence. The saint rejoins, No matter for Fingal's worth; being a pagan, assuredly he roasts in hell. In hot wrath the honest Caledonian poet cries, "If the children of Morni and the tribes of the clan Ovi were alive, we would force brave Fingal out of hell, or the same habitation should be our own."8

Many of the most affecting facts and problems in human experience and destiny have found expression, hypothetic solution, in striking myths preserved in the popular traditions of nations. The mutual resemblances in these legends in some cases, though among far separated peoples, are very significant and impressive. They denote that, moved by similar motives and exercised on the same soliciting themes, human desire and thought naturally find vent in similar theories, stories, and emblems. The imagination of man, as Gfrorer says, runs in ruts which not itself but nature has beaten.

The instinctive shrinking from death felt by man would, sooner or later, quite naturally suggest the idea that death was not an original feature in the divine plan of the world, but a retributive additional discord. Benignant nature meant her children should live on in happy contentment here forever; but sin and Satan came in, and death was the vengeance that followed their doings. The Persians fully developed this speculation. The Hebrews either also originated it, or borrowed it from the Persians; and afterwards the Christians adopted it. Traces of the same conception appear among the remotest and rudest nations. The Caribbeans have a myth to the effect that the whole race of men were doomed to be mortal because Carus, the first man, offended the great god Tiri. The Cherokees ascribe to the Great Spirit the intention of making men immortal on earth; but, they say, the sun when he passed over told them there was not room enough, and that people had better die! They also say that the Creator attempted to make the first man and woman out of two stones, but failed, and afterwards fashioned them of clay; and therefore it is that they are perishable.9 The

7 Hardy, Manual of Buddhism, p. 314.

8 Logan, Scottish Gael, ch. xiv.

9 Squier, Serpent Symbol, p. 67, note c.

Indians of the Oronoco declare that the Great Spirit dwelt for a while, at first, among men. As he was leaving them, he turned around in his canoe and said, "Ye shall never die, but shall shed your skins." An old woman would not believe what he said; he therefore recalled his promise and vowed that they should die.

The thought of more than one death that the composite man is simplified by a series of separating deaths has repeatedly found place. The New Testament speaks of "the second death;" but that is a metaphorical phrase, descriptive, as there employed, of condemnation and suffering. It is a thought of Plato that the Deity put intellect in soul, and soul in a material envelope. Following this hint, Plutarch says, in his essay on the Face in the Moon, that the earth furnishes the body, the moon the soul, the sun the mind. The first death we die, he continues, makes us two from three; the second makes us one from two. The Feejees tell how one of their warriors, seeing the spectre of a recently deceased enemy of his, threw his war club at it and killed it. They believed the spirit itself was thus destroyed. There is something pathetic in this accumulation of dissolution upon dissolution, this pursuit of death after death. We seem to hear, in this thin succession of the ghosts of ghosts, the fainter growing echoes of the body fade away.

Many narratives reveal the fond hovering of the human mind over the problem of avoiding death altogether. The Hebrew Scriptures have made us familiar with the translation of Enoch and the ascension of Elijah without tasting death. The Hindus tell of Divadassa, who, as a reward for his exceeding virtue and piety, was permitted to ascend to heaven alive.10 They also say that the good Trisanku, having pleased a god, was elevated in his living body to heaven.11 The Buddhists of Ceylon preserve a legend of the elevation of one of the royal descendants of Maha Sammata to the superior heavens without undergoing death.12 There are Buddhist traditions, furthermore, of four other persons who were taken up to Indra's heaven in their bodies without tasting death, namely, the musician Gattila, and the kings Sadhina, Nirni, and Mandhatu.13 A beautiful myth of the translation of Cyrus is found in Firdousi's Shah Nameh:

"Ky Khosru bow'd himself before his God: In the bright water he wash'd his head and his limbs; And he spake to himself the Zend Avesta's prayers; And he turn'd to the friends of his life and exclaim'd, 'Fare ye well, fare ye well for evermore! When to morrow's sun lifts its blazing banner, And the sea is gold, and the land is purple, This world and I shall be parted forever. Ye will never see me again, save in Memory's dreams.'When the sun uplifted his head from the mountain, The king had vanish'd from the eyes of his nobles. They roam'd around in vain attempts to find him;

10 Vans Kennedy, Ancient and Hindu Mythology, p. 431.

11 Vishnu Purana, p. 371.

12 Upham, Sacred Books of Ceylon, vol. i. Introduction, p. 17.

13 Hardy, Manual of Buddhism, p. 25, note.

And every one, as he came back to the place, Bade a long farewell to the king of the world. Never hath any one seen such a marvel No, though he live long in the world That a man should go alive into the presence of God."

There is a Greek story that Empedocles, "after a sacred festival, was drawn up to heaven in a splendor of celestial effulgence."14 Philostratus relates a tradition of the Cretans, affirming that, Apollonius having entered a temple to worship, a sound was heard as of a chorus of virgins singing, "Come from the earth; come into heaven; come." And he was taken up, never having been seen afterwards. Here may be cited also the exquisite fable of Endymion. Zeus promised to grant what he should request. He begged for immortality, eternal sleep, and never fading youth. Accordingly, in all his surpassing beauty he slumbers on the summit of Latmus, where every night the enamored moon stoops to kiss his spotless forehead. One of the most remarkable fragments in the traditions of the American aborigines is that concerning the final departure of Tarenyawagon, a mythic chief of supernatural knowledge and power, who instructed and united the Iroquois. He sprang across vast chasms between the cliffs, and shot over the lakes with incredible speed, in a spotless white canoe. At last the Master of Breath summoned him. Suddenly the sky was filled with melody. While all eyes were turned up, Tarenyawagon was seen, seated in his snow white canoe, in mid air, rising with every burst of the heavenly music, till he vanished beyond the summer clouds, and all was still.15

Another mythological method of avoidingdeath is by bathing in some immortal fountain. The Greeks tell of Glaucus, who by chance discovered and plunged in a spring of this charmed virtue, but was so chagrined at being unable to point it out to others that he flung himself into the ocean. He could not die, and so became a marine deity, and was annually seen off the headlands sporting with whales. The search for the "Fountain of Youth" by the Spaniards who landed in Florida is well known. How with a vain eagerness did Ponce de Leon, the battered old warrior, seek after the magic wave beneath which he should sink to emerge free from scars and stains, as fresh and fair as when first he donned the knightly harness! Khizer, the Wandering Jew of the East, accompanied Iskander Zulkarnain (the Oriental name for Alexander the Great) in his celebrated expedition to find the fountain of life.16 Zulkarnain, coming to a place where there were three hundred and sixty fountains, despatched three hundred and sixty men, ordering each man to select one of the fountains in which to wash a dry salted fish wherewith he was furnished. The instant Khizer's fish touched the water of the fountain which he had chosen, it sprang away, alive. Khizer leaped in after it and drank. Therefore he cannot die till the last trump sounds. Meanwhile, clad in a green garb, he roams through the world, a personified spring of the year.

14 Lewes, Biographical History of Philosophy, vol. i. p. 135, (1st Eng. edit.)

15 Schoolcraft, Notes on the Iroquois, ch. ix.

16 Adventures of Hatim Tai, p. 125.

The same influences which have caused death to be interpreted as a punitive after piece in the creation, and which have invented cases wherein it was set aside, have also fabricated tales of returns from its shrouded realm. The Thracian lover's harp, "drawing iron tears down Pluto's cheek," won his mistress half way to the upper light, and would have wholly redeemed her had he not in impatience looked back. The grim king of Hades, yielding to passionate entreaties, relented so far as to let the hapless Protesilaus return to his mourning Laodameia for three hours. At the swift end of this poor period he died again; and this time she died with him. Erus, who was killed in battle, and Timarchus, whose soul was rapt from him in the cave of Trophonius, both returned, as we read in Plato and Plutarch, to relate with circumstantial detail what they saw in the other world. Alcestis, who so nobly died to save her husband's life, was brought back from the region of the dead, by the interposition of Herakles, to spend happy years with her grateful Admetus. The cunning Sisyphus, who was so notorious for his treachery, by a shrewd plot obtained leave, after his death, to visit the earth again. Safely up in the light, he vowed he would stay; but old Hermes psychopompus forcibly dragged him down.

When Columbus landed at San Salvador, the natives thought he had descended from the sun, and by signs inquired if he had not. The Hawaiians took Captain Cook for the god Lono, who was once their king but was afterwards deified, and who had prophesied, as he was dying, that he should in after times return. Te Wharewara, a New Zealand youth, relates a long account of the return of his aunt from the other world, with a minute description of her adventures and observations there.17 Schoolcraft gives a picturesque narrative of a journey made by a Wyandot brave to and from the land of souls.18

There is a group of strangely pleasing myths, closely allied to the two preceding classes, showing how the popular heart and imagination glorify their heroes, and, fondly believing them too godlike to die, fancy them only removed to some secret place, where they still live, and whence in the time of need they will come again to rescue or to bless their people. Greece dreamed that her swift footed Achilles was yet alive in the White Island. Denmark long saw king Holger lingering on the old warrior cairns of his country. Portugal trusted that her beauteous prince Sebastian had escaped from the fatal field to the East, and would one day return to claim his usurped realm.19 So, too, of Roderick the Goth, who fell in disastrous battle with the Arabs, the Visiogothic traditions and faith of the people long insisted that he would reappear. The Swiss herdsmen believe the founders of their confederacy still sleep in a cavern on the shores of Lucerne. When Switzerland is in peril, the Three Tells, slumbering there in their antique garb, will wake to save her. Sweetly and often, the ancient British lays allude to the puissant Arthur borne away to the mystic vales of Avalon, and yet to be hailed in his native kingdom, Excalibur once more gleaming in his hand. The strains of the Troubadours swell and ring as they tell of Charlemagne sleeping beneath

17 Shortland, Traditions of the New Zealanders, p. 128.

18 History, &c. of Indian Tribes, part ii. p. 235.

19 There is a fanatic sect of Sebastianists in Brazil now. See "Brazil and the Brazilians," by Kidier and Fletcher, pp. 519-521.

the Untersberg, biding his appointed time to rise, resume his unrivalled sceptre, and glorify the Frank race. And what grand and weird ballads picture great Barbarossa seated in the vaults of Kyffhauser, his beard grown through the stone table in front of him, tarrying till he may come forth, with his minstrels and knights around him, in the crisis hour of Germany's fortunes! The Indians of Pecos, in New Mexico, still anxiously expect the return of Montezuma; while in San Domingo, on the Rio Grande, a sentinel every morning ascends to the top of the highest house, at sunrise, and looks out eastward for the coming of the great chief.20 The peasants of Brittany maintain as a recent traveller testifies that Napoleon is still alive in concealment somewhere, and will one day be heard of or seen in pomp and victory. One other dead man there has been who was expected to return. the hated Nero, the popular horror of whom shows itself in the shuddering belief expressed in the Apocalypse and in the Sibylline Oracles that he was still alive and would reappear.21

Alian, in his Various History, recounts the following singular circumstances concerning the Meropes who inhabited the valley of Anostan.22 It would seem to prove that no possible conceit of speculation pertaining to our subject has been unthought of. A river of grief and a river of pleasure, he says, lapsed through the valley, their banks covered with trees. If one ate of the fruit growing on the trees beside the former stream, he burst into a flood of tears and wept till he died. But if he partook of that hanging on the shore of the latter, his bliss was so great that he forgot all desires; and, strangest of all, he returned over the track of life to youth and infancy, and then gently expired. He turned

"Into his yesterdays, and wander'd back To distant childhood, and went out to God By the gate of birth, not death."

Mohammed, during his night journey, saw, in the lower heaven, Adam, the father of mankind, a majestic old man, with all his posterity who were destined for paradise on one side, and all who were destined for hell on the other. When he looked on the right he smiled and rejoiced, but as often as he looked on the left he mourned and wept. How finely this reveals the stupendous pathos there is in the theological conception of a Federal Head of humanity!

The idea of a great terminal crisis is met with so often in reviewing the history of human efforts to grasp and solve the problem of the world's destiny, that we must consider it a normal concomitant of such theorizings. The mind reels and loses itself in trying to conceive of the everlasting continuance of the present order, or of any one fixed course of things, but finds relief in the notion of a revolution, an end, and a fresh start. The Mexican Cataclysm or universal crash, the close of the Hindu Calpa, the Persian Resurrection, the Stoic Conflagration, the Scandinavian Ragnarokur, the Christian Day of Judgment, all embody this one thought. The Drama of Humanity is played out, the curtain falls, and when it rises again

20 Abbe Domenech's Seven Years' Residence in the Great Deserts of North America; Vol. I. ch. viii.

21 Stuart, Commentary on the Apocalypse: Excursus upon ch. xiii. v. 18.

22 Lib. iii. cap. 18.

all is commenced afresh. The clock of creation runs down and has to be wound up anew. The Brahmans are now expecting the tenth avatar of Vishnu. The Parsees look for Sosiosch to come, to consummate the triumph of good, and to raise the dead upon a renewed earth. The Buddhists await the birth of Maitri Buddha, who is tarrying in the dewa loka Tusita until the time of his advent upon earth. The Jews are praying for the appearance of the Messiah. And many Christians affirm that the second advent of Jesus draws nigh.

One more fact, even in a hasty survey of some of the most peculiar opinions current in bygone times as to a future life, can scarcely fail to attract notice. It is the so constant linking of the soul's fate with the skyey spaces and the stars, in fond explorings and astrologic dreams. Nowhere are the kingly greatness and the immortal aspiring of man more finely shown. The loadstone of his destiny and the prophetic gravitation of his thoughts are upward, into the eternal bosom of heaven's infinite hospitality.

"Ye stars, which are the poetry of heaven!
If in your bright leaves we would read the fate
Of men and empires, 'tis to be forgiven,
That, in our aspirations to be great,
Our destinies o'erleap their mortal state
And claim a kindred with you; for ye are
A beauty and a mystery, and create
In us such love and reverence from afar
That fortune, fame, power, life, have named themselves a star."

What an immeasurable contrast between the dying Cherokee, who would leap into heaven with a war whoop on his tongue and a string of scalps in his hand, and the dying Christian, who sublimely murmurs, "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!" What a sweep of thought, from the poor woman whose pious notion of heaven was that it was a place where she could sit all day in a clean white apron and sing psalms, to the far seeing and sympathetic natural philosopher whose loving faith embraces all ranks of creatures and who conceives of paradise as a spiritual concert of the combined worlds with all their inhabitants in presence of their Creator! Yet from the explanatory considerations which have been set forth we can understand the derivation of the multifarious swarm of notions afloat in the world, as the fifteen hundred varieties of apple now known have all been derived from the solitary white crab. Differences of fancy and opinion among men are as natural as fancies and opinions are. The mind of a people grows from the earth of its deposited history, but breathes in the air of its living literature.23 By his philosophic learning and poetic sympathy the cosmopolitan scholar wins the last victory of mind over matter, frees himself from local conditions and temporal tinges, and, under the light of universal truth, traces, through the causal influences of soil and clime and history, and the colored threads of great individualities, the formation of peculiar national creeds. Through sense the barbarian mind feeds on the raw pabulum furnished by the immediate phenomena of the world and of its own life. Through culture the civilized mind feeds on the elaborated substance of literature,

23 Schouw, Earth, Plants, and Man, ch. xxx.

science, and art. Plants eat inorganic, animals eat organized, material. The ignorant man lives on sensations obtained directly from nature; the educated man lives also on sensations obtained from the symbols of other people's sensations. The illiterate savage hunts for his mental living in the wild forest of consciousness; the erudite philosopher lives also on the psychical stores of foregone men.

NOTE. To the ten instances, stated on pages 210, 211, of remarkable men who after their death were popularly imagined to be still alive, and destined to appear again, an eleventh may be added. The Indians of Pecos, in New Mexico, anxiously expect the return of Montezuma. In San Domingo, on the Rio Grande, a sentinel every morning ascends to the roof of the highest house at sunrise and looks out eastward for the coming of the great chief. See the Abbe Domenech's "Seven Years' Residence in the Great Deserts of North America," vol. ii. ch. viii.

Theories of the Soul's Destination

BEFORE examining, in their multifarious detail, the special thoughts and fancies respecting a future life prevalent in different nations and times, it may be well to take a sort of bird's eye view of those general theories of the destination of the soul under which all the individual varieties of opinion may be classified. Vast and incongruous as is the heterogeneous mass of notions brought forth by the history of this province of the world's belief, the whole may be systematized, discriminated, and reduced to a few comprehensive heads. Such an architectural grouping or outlining of the chief schemes of thought on this subject will yield several advantages.

Showing how the different views arose from natural speculations on the correlated phenomena of the outward world and facts of human experience, it affords an indispensable help towards a philosophical analysis and explanation of the popular faith as to the destiny of man after death, in all the immense diversity of its contents. An orderly arrangement and exposition of these cardinal theories also form an epitome holding a bewildering multitude of particulars in its lucid and separating grasp, changing the fruits of learned investigation from a cumbersome burden on the memory to a small number of connected formularies in the reason. These theories serve as a row of mirrors hung in a line of historic perspective, reflecting every relevant shape and hue of meditation and faith humanity has known, from the ideal visions of the Athenian sage to the instinctive superstitions of the Fejee savage. When we have adequately defined these theories, of which there are seven, traced their origin, comprehended their significance and bearings, and dissected their supporting pretensions, then the whole field of our theme lies in light before us; and, however grotesque or mysterious, simple or subtle, may be the modes of thinking and feeling in relation to the life beyond death revealed in our subsequent researches, we shall know at once where to refer them and how to explain them. The precise object, therefore, of the present chapter is to set forth the comprehensive theories devised to solve the problem, What becomes of man when he dies?

But a little while man flourishes here in the bosom of visible nature. Soon he disappears from our scrutiny, missed in all the places that knew him. Whither has he gone? What fate has befallen him? It is an awful question. In comparison with its concentrated interest, all other affairs are childish and momentary. Whenever that solemn question is asked, earth, time, and the heart, natural transformations, stars, fancy, and the brooding intellect, are full of vague oracles. Let us see what intelligible answers can be constructed from their responses.

The first theory which we shall consider propounds itself in one terrible word, annihilation. Logically this is the earliest, historically the latest, view. The healthy consciousness, the eager fancy, the controlling sentiment, the crude thought, all the uncurbed instinctive conclusions of primitive human nature, point forcibly to a continued existence for the soul, in some way, when the body shall have perished. And so history shows us in all the savage nations a vivid belief in a future life. But to the philosophical observer, who has by dint of speculation freed himself from the constraining tendencies of desire, faith, imagination, and authority, the thought that man totally ceases with the destruction of his visible organism must occur as the first and simplest settlement of the question.1 The totality of manifested life has absolutely disappeared: why not conclude that the totality of real life has actually lost its existence and is no more? That is the natural inference, unless by some means the contrary can be proved. Accordingly, among all civilized people, every age has had its skeptics, metaphysical disputants who have mournfully or scoffingly denied the separate survival of the soul. This is a necessity in the inevitable sequences of observation and theory; because, when the skeptic, suppressing or escaping his biassed wishes, the trammels of traditional opinion, and the spontaneous convictions prophetic of his own uninterrupted being, first looks over the wide scene of human life and death, and reflectingly asks, What is the sequel of this strange, eventful history? obviously the conclusion suggested by the immediate phenomena is that of entire dissolution and blank oblivion. This result is avoided by calling in the aid of deeper philosophical considerations and of inspiring moral truths. But some will not call in that aid; and the whole superficial appearance of the case regarding that alone, as they then will is fatal to our imperial hopes. The primordial clay claims its own from the disanimated frame; and the vanished life, like the flame of an outburnt taper, has ceased to be. Men are like bubbles or foam flakes on the world's streaming surface: glittering in a momentary ray, they break and are gone, and only the dark flood remains still flowing forward. They are like tones of music, commencing and ending with the unpurposed breath that makes them. Nature is a vast congeries of mechanical substances pervaded by mindless forces of vitality. Consciousness is a production which results from the fermentation and elaboration of unconscious materials; and after a time it deceases, its conditions crumbling into their inorganic grounds again.

From the abyss of silence and dust intelligent creatures break forth, shine, and sink back, like meteor flashes in a cloud. The generations of sentient being, like the annual growths of vegetation, by spontaneity of dynamic development, spring from dead matter, flourish through their destined cycle, and relapse into dead matter. The bosom of nature is, therefore, at once the wondrous womb and the magnificent mausoleum of man. Fate, like an iron skeleton seated at the summit of the world on a throne of fresh growing grass and mouldering skulls, presides over all, and annihilation is the universal doom of individual life. Such is the atheistic naturalist's creed. However indefensible or shocking it is, it repeatedly appears in the annals of speculation; and any synopsis of the possible conclusions in which the inquiry into man's destiny may rest that should omit this, would be grossly imperfect.

This scheme of disbelief is met by insuperable objections. It excludes some essential elements of the case, confines itself to a wholly empirical view; and consequently the relentless solution it announces applies only to a mutilated problem. To assert the cessation of the soul because its physical manifestations through the body have ceased, is certainly to affirm without just warrant. It would appear impossible for volition and intelligence to

1 Lalande, Dictionnaire des Athees Anciens et Modernes.

originate save from a free parent mind. Numerous cogent evidences of design seem to prove the existence of a God by whose will all things are ordered according to a plan. Many powerful impressions and arguments, instinctive, critical, or moral, combine to teach that in the wreck of matter the spirit emerges, deathless, from the closing waves of decay. The confirmation of that truth becomes irresistible when we see how reason and conscience, with delighted avidity, seize upon its adaptedness alike to the brightest features and the darkest defects of the present life, whose imperfect symmetries and segments are harmoniously filled out by the adjusting complement of a future state.2

The next representation of the fate of the soul disposes of it by re absorption into the essence from which it emanated. There is an eternal fountain of unmade life, from which all individual, transient lives flow, and into which they return. This conception arose in the outset from a superficial analogy which must have obtruded itself upon primitive notice and speculation; for man is led to his first metaphysical inquiries by a feeling contemplation of outward phenomena. Now, in the material world, when individual forms perish, each sensible component relapses into its original element and becomes an undistinguishable portion of it. Our exhaled breath goes into the general air and is united with it: the dust of our decaying frames becomes part of the ground and vegetation. So, it is strongly suggested, the lives of things, the souls of men, when they disappear from us, are remerged in the native spirit whence they came. The essential longing of every part for union with its whole is revealed and vocal throughout all nature. Water is sullen in stillness, murmurs in motion, and never ceases its gloom or its complaining until it sleeps in the sea. Like spray on the rock, the stranding generations strike the sepulchre and are dissipated into universal vapor. As lightnings slink back into the charged bosom of the thunder cloud, as eager waves, spent, subside in the deep, as furious gusts die away in the great atmosphere, so the gleaming ranks of genius, the struggling masses of toil, the pompous hosts of war, fade and dissolve away into the peaceful bosom of the all engulfing SOUL. This simplest, earliest philosophy of mankind has had most extensive and permanent prevalence.3 For immemorial centuries it has possessed the mind of the countless millions of India. Baur thinks the Egyptian identification of each deceased person with Osiris and the burial of him under that name, were meant to denote the reception of the individual human life into the universal nature life. The doctrine has been implicitly held wherever pantheism has found a votary, from Anaximander, to whom finite creatures were "disintegrations or decompositions from the Infinite," to Alexander Pope, affirming that

"All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body nature is, and God the soul."

The first reasoners, who gave such an ineradicable direction and tinge to the thinking of after ages, were furthermore driven to the supposition of a final absorption, from the

2 Drossbach, Die Harmonie der Ergebnisse der Naturforschung mit den Forderungen des Menschlichen Gemuthes.

3 Blount, Anima Mundi; or, The Opinions of the Ancients concerning Man's Soul after this Life.

impossibility, in that initiatory stage of thought, of grasping any other theory which would apparently meet the case so well or be more satisfactory. They, of course, had not yet arrived at the idea that God is a personal Spirit whose nature is revealed in the constitutive characteristics of the human soul, and who carries on his works from eternity to eternity without monotonous repetition or wearisome stagnancy, but with perpetual variety in never ceasingmotion. Whatever commences must also terminate, they said, forgetting that number begins with one but has no end. They did not conceive of the universe of being as an eternal line, making immortality desirable for its endless novelty, but imaged it to themselves as a circle, making an everlasting individual consciousness dreadful for its intolerable sameness, an immense round of existence, phenomena, and experience, going forth and returning into itself, over and over, forever and ever. To escape so repulsive a contemplation, they made death break the fencing integument of consciousness and empty all weary personalities into the absolute abyss of being.

Again: the extreme difficulty of apprehending the truth of a Creator literally infinite, and of a limitless creation, would lead to the same result in another way. Without doubt, it seemed to the naive thinkers of antiquity, that if hosts of new beings were continually coming into life and increasing the number of the inhabitants of the future state, the fountain from which they proceeded would some time be exhausted, or the universe grow plethoric with population. There would be no more substance below or no more room above. The easiest method of surmounting this problem would be by the hypothesis that all spirits come out of a great World Spirit, and, having run their mortal careers, are absorbed into it again. Many especially the deepest Oriental dreamers have also been brought to solace themselves with this conclusion by a course of reasoning based on the exposures, and assumed inevitable sufferings, of all finite being. They argue that every existence below the absolute God, because it is set around with limitations, is necessarily obnoxious to all sorts of miseries. Its pleasures are only "honey drops scarce tasted in a sea of gall." This conviction, with its accompanying sentiment, runs through the sacred books of the East, is the root and heart of their theology, the dogma that makes the cruelest penances pleasant if a renewed existence may thus be avoided. The sentiment is not alien to human longing and surmise, as witnesses the night thought of the English poet who, world sated, and sadly yearning, cries through the starry gloom to God,

"When shall my soul her incarnation quit, And, readopted to thy blest embrace, Obtain her apotheosis in thee?"

Having stated and traced the doctrine of absorption, it remains to investigate the justice of its grounds. The doctrine starts from a premise partly true and ends in a conclusion partly false. We emanate from the creative power of God, and are sustained by the in flowing presence of his life, but are not discerptions from his own being, any more than beams of light are distinct substances shot out and shorn off from the sun to be afterwards drawn back and assimilated into the parent orb. We are destined to a harmonious life in his unifying love, but not to be fused and lost as insentient parts of his total consciousness. We are products of

God's will, not component atoms of his soul. Souls are to be in God as stars are in the firmament, not as lumps of salt are in a solvent. This view is confirmed by various arguments.

In the first place, it is supported by the philosophical distinction between emanation and creation. The conception of creation gives us a personal God who wills to certain ends; that of emanation reduces the Supreme Being to a ghastly array of laws, revolving abysses, galvanic forces, nebular star dust, dead ideas, and vital fluids. According to the latter supposition, finite existences flow from the Infinite as consequences from a principle, or streams from a fountain; according to the former, they proceed as effects from a cause, or thoughts from a mind. That is pantheistic, fatal, and involves absorption by a logical necessity; this is creative, free, and does not presuppose any circling return. Material things are thoughts which God transiently contemplates and dismisses; spiritual creatures are thoughts which he permanently expresses in concrete immortality. The soul is a thought; the body is the word in which it is clothed.

Secondly, the analogy which first leads to belief in absorption is falsely interpreted. Taken on its own ground, rightly appreciated, it legitimates a different conclusion.

A grain of sand thrown into the bosom of Sahara does not lose its individual existence. Distinct drops are not annihilated as to their simple atoms of water, though sunk in the midst of the sea. The final particles or monads of air or granite are not dissolvingly blended into continuity of unindividualized atmosphere or rock when united with their elemental masses, but are thrust unapproachably apart by molecular repulsion. Now, a mind, being, as we conceive, no composite, but an ultimate unity, cannot be crushed or melted from its integral persistence of personality. Though plunged into the centre of a surrounding wilderness or ocean of minds, it must still retain itself unlost in the multitude. Therefore, if we admit the existence of an inclusive mundane Soul, it by no means follows that lesser souls received into it are deprived of their individuality. It is "one not otherwise than as the sea is one, by a similarity and contiguity of parts, being composed of an innumerable host of distinct spirits, as that is of aqueous particles; and as the rivers continually discharge into the sea, so the vehicular people, upon the disruption of their vehicles, discharge and incorporate into that ocean of spirits making the mundane Soul."4

Thirdly, every consideration furnished by the doctrine of final causes as applied to existing creatures makes us ask, What use is there in calling forth souls merely that they may be taken back again? To justify their creation, the fulfilment of some educative aim, and then the lasting fruition of it, appear necessary. Why else should a soul be drawn from out the unformed vastness, and have its being struck into bounds, and be forced to pass through such appalling ordeals of good and evil, pleasure and agony? An individual of any kind is as important as its race; for it contains in possibility all that its type does. And the purposes of things, so far as we can discern them, the nature of our spiritual constitution, the meaning of our circumstances and probation, the resulting tendencies of our experience, all seem to prophesy, not the destruction, but the perfection and perpetuation, of individual being.

4 Tucker, Light of Nature, Part II. chap. xxii.

Fourthly, the same inference is yielded by applying a similar consideration to the Creator. Allowing him consciousness and intentions, as we must, what object could he have either in exerting his creative power or in sending out portions of himself in new individuals, save the production of so many immortal personalities of will, knowledge, and love, to advance towards the perfection of holiness, wisdom, and blessedness, filling his mansions with his children? By thus multiplying his own image he adds to the number of happy creatures who are to be bound together in bands of glory, mutually receiving and returning his affection, and swells the tide of conscious bliss which fills and rolls forever through his eternal universe.

Nor, finally, is it necessary to expect personal oblivion in God in order to escape from evil and win exuberant happiness. Those ends are as well secured by the fruition of God's love in us as by the drowning of our consciousness in his plenitude of delight. Precisely herein consists the fundamental distinction of the Christian from the Brahmanic doctrine of human destiny. The Christian hopes to dwell in blissful union with God's will, not to be annihilatingly sunk in his essence. To borrow an illustration from Scotus Erigena,5 as the air when thoroughly illumined by sunshine still keeps its aerial nature and does not become sunshine, or as iron all red in the flame still keeps its metallic substance and does not turn to fire itself, so a soul fully possessed and moved by God does not in consequence lose its own sentient and intelligent being. It is still a bounded entity, though recipient of boundless divinity. Thus evil ceases, each personality is preserved and intensely glorified, and, at the same time, God is all in all. The totality of perfected, enraptured, immortalized humanity in heaven may be described in this manner, adopting the masterly expression of Coleridge:

"And as one body seems the aggregate Of atoms numberless, each organized, So, by a strange and dim similitude, Infinite myriads of self conscious minds In one containing Spirit live, who fills With absolute ubiquity of thought All his involved monads, that yet seem Each to pursue its own self centring end."

A third mode of answering the question of human destiny is by the conception of a general resurrection. Souls, as fast as they leave the body, are gathered in some intermediate state, a starless grave world, a ghostly limbo. When the present cycle of things is completed, when the clock of time runs down and its lifeless weight falls in the socket, and "Death's empty helmet yawns grimly over the funeral hatchment of the world," the gates of this long barred receptacle of the deceased will be struck open, and its pale prisoners, in accumulated hosts, issue forth, and enter on the immortal inheritance reserved for them. In the sable land of Hades all departed generations are bivouacking in one vast army. On the resurrection morning, striking their shadowy tents, they will scale the walls of the abyss, and, reinvested with their bodies, either plant their banners on the summits of the earth in permanent encampment, or storm the battlements of the sky and colonize heaven with flesh and blood.

5 Philosophy and Doctrines of Erigena, Universalist Quarterly Review, vol. vii. p. 100.

All advocates of the doctrine of psychopannychism, or the sleep of souls from death till the last day, in addition to the general body of orthodox Christians, have been supporters of this conclusion.6

Three explanations are possible of the origination of this belief. First, a man musing over the affecting panorama of the seasons as it rolls through the year, budding life alternating with deadly desolation, spring still bringing back the freshness of leaves, flowers, and carolling birds, as if raising them from an annual interment in winter's cold grave, and then thinking of the destiny of his own race, how many generations have ripened and decayed, how many human crops have been harvested from the cradle and planted in the tomb, might naturally especially if he had any thing of the poet's associating and creative mind say to himself, Are we altogether perishable dust, or are we seed sown for higher fields, seed lying dormant now, but at last to sprout into swift immortality when God shall make a new sunshine and dew omnipotently penetrate the dry mould where we tarry? No matter how partial the analogy, how forced the process, how false the result, such imagery would sooner or later occur; and, having occurred, it is no more strange that it should get literal acceptance than it is that many other popular figments should have secured the firm establishment they have.

Secondly, a mourner just bereaved of one in whom his whole love was garnered, distracted with grief, his faculties unbalanced, his soul a chaos, is of sorrow and fantasy all compact; and he solaces himself with the ideal embodiment of his dreams, half seeing what he thinks, half believing what he wishes. His desires pass through unconscious volition into supposed facts. Before the miraculous power of his grief wielded imagination the world is fluent, and fate runs in the moulds he conceives. The adored form on which corruption now banquets, he sees again, animated, beaming, clasped in his arms. He cries, It cannot be that those holy days are forever ended, that I shall never more realize the blissful dream in which we trod the sunny world together! Oh, it must be that some time God will give me back again that beloved one! the sepulchre closed so fast shall be unsealed, the dead be restored, and all be as it was before! The conception thus once born out of the delirium of busy thought, anguished love, and regnant imagination, may in various ways win a fixed footing in faith.

Thirdly, the notion which we are now contemplating is one link in a chain of thought which, in the course of time and the range of speculation, the theorizing mind could not fail to forge. The concatenation of reflections is this. Death is the separation of soul and body. That separation is repulsive, an evil. Therefore it was not intended by the Infinite Goodness, but was introduced by a foe, and is a foreign, marring element. Finally God will vanquish his antagonist, and banish from the creation all his thwarting interferences with the primitive perfection of harmony and happiness. Accordingly, the souls which Satan has caused to be separated from their bodies are reserved apart until the fulness of time, when there shall be a universal resurrection and restoration. So far as reason is competent to pronounce on this view considered as a sequel to the disembodying doom of man, it is an arbitrary piece of fancy. Philosophy ignores it. Science gives no hint of it.

6 Baumgarten, Beantwortung des Sendschreibens Heyns vom Schlafe der abgeschiedenen Seelen. Chalmers. Astronomical Discourses, iv.

It sprang from unwarranted metaphors, perverted, exaggerated, based on analogies not parallel. So far as it assumes to rest on revelation it will be examined in another place.

Fourthly, after the notion of a great, epochal resurrection, as a reply to the inquiry, What is to become of the soul? a dogma is next encountered which we shall style that of a local and irrevocable conveyance. The disembodied spirit is conveyed to some fixed region,7 a penal or a blissful abode, where it is to tarry unalterably. This idea of the banishment or admission of souls, according to their deserts, or according to an elective grace, into an anchored location called hell or heaven, a retributive or rewarding residence for eternity, we shall pass by with few words, because it recurs for fuller examination in other chapters. In the first place, the whole picture is a gross simile drawn from occurrences of this outward world and unjustifiably applied to the fortunes of the mind in the invisible sphere of the future. The figment of a judicial transportation of the soul from one place or planet to another, as if by a Charon's boat, is a clattering and repulsive conceit, inadmissible by one who apprehends the noiseless continuity of God's self executing laws. It is a jarring mechanical clash thrust amidst the smooth evolution of spiritual destinies. It compares with the facts as the supposition that the planets are swung around the sun by material chains compares with the law of gravitation.

Moral compensation is no better secured by imprisonment or freedom in separate localities than it is, in a common environment, by the fatal working of their interior forces of character, and their relations with all things else. Moreover, these antagonist kingdoms, Tartarean and Elysian, defined as the everlasting habitations of departed souls, have been successively driven, as dissipated visions, from their assumed latitudes and longitudes, one after another, by progressive discovery, until now the intelligent mind knows of no assignable spot for them. Since we are not acquainted with any fixed locations to which the soul is to be carried, to abide there forever in appointed joy or woe, and since there is no scientific necessity nor moral use for the supposition of such places and of the transferrence of the departed to them, we cannot hesitate to reject the associated belief as a deluding mistake. The truth, as we conceive it, is not that different souls are borne by constabulary apparitions to two immured dwellings, manacled and hurried into Tophet or saluted and ushered into Paradise, but that all souls spontaneously pass into one immense empire, drawn therein by their appropriate attractions, to assimilate a strictly discriminative experience. But, as to this, let each thinker form his own conclusion.

The fifth view of the destination of the soul may be called the theory of recurrence.8 When man dies, his surviving spirit is immediately born again in a new body. Thus the souls, assigned in a limited number to each world, continually return, each one still forgetful of his previous lives. This seems to be the specific creed of the Druses, who affirm that all souls were created at once, and that the number is unchanged, while they are born over and over. A Druse boy, dreadfully alarmed by the discharge of a gun, on being asked by a Christian the cause of his fear, replied, "I was born murdered;" that is, the soul of a man who had been shot

7 Lange, Das Land der Herrlichkelt.

8 Schmidius, Diss. de Multiplici Animarum Reditu in Corpora.

passed into his body at the moment of his birth.9 The young mountaineer would seem, from the sudden violence with which he was snatched out of his old house, to have dragged a trail of connecting consciousness over into his new one. As a general rule, in distinction from such an exception, memory is like one of those passes which the conductors of railroad trains give their passengers, "good for this trip only." The notion of an endless succession of lives on the familiar stage of this dear old world, commencing each with clean wiped tablets, possesses for some minds a fathomless allurement; but others wish for no return pass on their ticket to futurity, preferring an adventurous abandonment "to fresh fields and pastures new," in unknown immensity, to a renewed excursion through landscapes already traversed and experiences drained before.

Fourier's doctrine of immortality belongs here. According to his idea, the Great Soul of this globe is a composite being, comprising about ten billions of individual souls. Their connection with this planet will be for nearly eighty thousand years. Then the whole sum of them will swarm to some higher planet, Fourier himself, perhaps, being the old gray gander that will head the flock, pilot king of their flight. Each man is to enjoy about four hundred births on earth, poetic justice leading him successively through all the grades and phases of fortune, from cripplehood and beggary to paragonship and the throne. The invisible residence of spirits and the visible are both on this globe, the former in the Great Soul, the latter in bodies. In the other life the soul becomes a sharer in the woes of the Great Soul, which is as unhappy as seven eighths of the incarnated souls; for its fate is a compound of the fates of the human souls taken collectively. Coming into this outward scene at birth, we lose anew all memory of past existence, but wake up again in the Great Soul with a perfect recollection of all our previous lives both in the invisible and in the visible world. These alternating passages between the two states will continue until the final swooping of total humanity from this exhausted planet in search of a better abode.10

The idea of the recurrence of souls is the simplest means of meeting a difficulty stated thus by the ingenious Abraham Tucker in his "Light of Nature Pursued." "The numbers of souls daily pouring in from hence upon the next world seem to require a proportionable drain from it somewhere or other; for else the country might be overstocked." The objection urged against such a belief from the fact that we do not remember having lived before is rebutted by the assertion that

"Some draught of Lethe doth await, As old mythologies relate, The slipping through from state to state."

The theory associated with this Lethean draught is confirmed by its responsive correspondence with many unutterable experiences, vividly felt or darkly recognised, in our deepest bosom. It seems as if occasionally the poppied drug or other oblivious antidote

9 Churchill, Mount Lebanon, vol. ii. ch. 12.

10 Fourier, Passions of the Human Soul, (Morell's translation,) Introduction, vol. i. pp. 14-18; also pp. 233-236.

administered by nature had been so much diluted that reason, only half baffled, struggles to decipher the dim runes and vestiges of a foregone state;

"And ever something is or seems That touches us with mystic gleams, Like glimpses of forgotten dreams."

In those excursive reveries, fed by hope and winged with dream, which scour the glens and scale the peaks of the land of thought, this nook of hypothesis must some time be discovered. And, brought to light, it has much to interest and to please; but it is too destitute of tangible proof to be successfully maintained against assault.11

There is another faith as to the fate of souls, best stated, perhaps, in the phrase perpetual migration. The soul, by successive deaths and births, traverses the universe, an everlasting traveller through the rounds of being and the worlds of space, a transient sojourner briefly inhabiting each.12 All reality is finding its way up towards the attracting, retreating Godhead. Minerals tend to vegetables, these to animals, these to men. Blind but yearning matter aspires to spirit, intelligent spirits to divinity. In every grain of dust sleep an army of future generations. As every thing below man gropes upward towards his conscious estate, "the trees being imperfect men, that seem to bemoan their imprisonment, rooted in the ground," so man himself shall climb the illimitable ascent of creation, every step a star. The animal organism is a higher kind of vegetable, whose development begins with those substances with the production of which the life of an ordinary vegetable ends.13 The fact, too, that embryonic man passes through ascending stages undistinguishable from those of lower creatures, is full of meaning. Does it not betoken a preserved epitome of the long history of slowly rising existence? What unplummeted abysses of time and distance intervene from the primary rock to the Victoria Regia! and again from the first crawling spine to the fetterless mind of a Schelling! But, snail pace by snail pace, those immeasurable separations have been bridged over; and so every thing that now lies at the dark basis of dust shall finally reach the transplendent apex of intellect. The objection of theological prejudice to this developing succession of ascents that it is degrading is an unhealthy mistake. Whether we have risen or fallen to our present rank, the actual rank itself is not altered. And in one respect it is better for man to be an advanced oyster than a degraded god; for in the former case the path is upwards, in the latter it is downwards. "We wake," observes a profound thinker, "and find ourselves on a stair: there are other stairs below us, which we seem to have ascended; there are stairs above us, many a one, which go upward and out of sight." Such was plainly the trust of the author of the following exhortation:

"Be worthy of death; and so learn to live That every incarnation of thy soul In other realms, and worlds, and firmaments Shall be more pure and high."

11 Bertram, Prufung der Meinung von der Praexistenz der menechlichen Seele.

12 Nurnberger, Still Leben, oder uber die Unsterblichkeit der Seele.

13 Liebig, Animal Chemistry, ch. ix.

Bulwer likewise has said, "Eternity may be but an endless series of those emigrations which men call deaths, abandonments of home after home, ever to fairer scenes and loftier heights. Age after age, the spirit that glorious nomad may shift its tent, fated not to rest in the dull Elysium of the heathen, but carrying with it evermore its twin elements, activity and desire."

But there is something unsatisfactory, even sad and dreary, in this prospect of incessant migration. Must not the pilgrim pine and tire for a goal of rest? Exhausted with wanderings, sated with experiments, will he not pray for the exempted lot of a contented fruition in repose? One must weary at last of being even so sublime a vagabond as he whose nightly hostelries are stars. And, besides, how will sundered friends and lovers, between whom, on the road, races and worlds interpose, ever over take each other, and be conjoined to journey hand in hand again or build a bower together by the way? A poet of finest mould, in happiest mood, once saw a leaf drop from a tree which overhung a mirroring stream. The reflection of the leaf in the watery sky hollow far below seemed to rise from beneath as swiftly as the object fell from above; and the two, encountering at the surface, became one. Then he sang, touching with his strain the very marrow of deepest human desire,

"How speeds, from in the river's thought,
The spirit of the leaf that falls,
Its heaven in that calm bosom wrought,
As mine among yon crimson walls!
From the dry bough it spins, to greet
Its shadow on the placid river:
So might I my companions meet,
Nor roam the countless worlds forever!"

Moreover, some elements of this theory are too grotesque, are the too rash inferences from a too crude induction, to win sober credit to any extent. It is easy to devise and carry out in consistent descriptive details the hypothesis that the soul has risen, through ten thousand transitions, from the condition of red earth or a tadpole to its present rank, and that,

"As it once crawl'd upon the sod, It yet shall grow to be a god;"

but what scientific evidence is there to confirm and establish the supposition as a truth? Why, if it be so, to borrow the humorous satire of good old Henry More,

"Then it will follow that cold stopping curd And harden'd moldy cheese, when they have rid Due circuits through the heart, at last shall speed Of life and sense, look thorough our thin eyes And view the close wherein the cow did feed Whence they were milk'd: grosse pie crust will grow wise, And pickled cucumbers sans doubt philosophize!"

The form of this general outline stalks totteringly on stilts of fancy, and sprawls headlong with a logical crash at the first critical probe.

The final theory of the destination of souls, now left to be set forth, may be designated by the word transition.14 It affirms that at death they pass from the separate material worlds, which are their initiating nurseries, into the common spiritual world, which is everywhere present. Thus the visible peoples the invisible, each person in his turn consciously rising from this world's rudimentary darkness to that world's universal light. Dwelling here, free souls, housed in frames of dissoluble clay,

"We hold a middle rank 'twixt heaven and earth,
On the last verge of mortal being stand,
lose to the realm where angels have their birth,
Just on the boundaries of the spirit land."

Why has God "broken up the solid material of the universe into innumerable little globes, and swung each of them in the centre of an impassable solitude of space," unless it be to train up in the various spheres separate households for final union as a single diversified family in the boundless spiritual world? 15 The surmise is not unreasonable, but recommends itself strongly, that,

"If yonder stars be fill'd with forms of breathing clay like ours, Perchance the space which spreads between is for a spirit's powers."

The soul encased in flesh is thereby confined to one home, its natal nest; but, liberated at death, it wanders at will, unobstructed, through every world and cerulean deep; and wheresoever it is, there, in proportion to its own capacity and fitness, is heaven and is God.16 All those world spots so thickly scattered through the Yggdrasill of universal space are but the brief sheltering places where embryo intelligences clip their shells, and whence, as soon as fledged through the discipline of earthly teaching and essays, the broodlet souls take wing into the mighty airs of immensity, and thus enter on their eternal emancipation. This conjecture is, of all which have been offered yet, perhaps the completest, least perplexed, best recommended by its harmony with our knowledge and our hope. And so one might wish to rest in it with humble trust.

The final destiny of an immortal soul, after its transition into the other world, must be either unending progress towards infinite perfection, or the reaching of its perihelion at last and then revolving in uninterrupted fruition. In the former case, pursuing an infinite aim, with each degree of its attainment the flying goal still recedes. In the latter case, it will in due season touch its bound and there be satisfied,

"When weak Time shall be pour'd out Into Eternity, and circular joys Dance in an endless round."

14 Taylor, Physical Theory of Another Life, ch. xii.

15 Taylor, Saturday Evening, pp. 95-111.

16 Taylor, Physical Theory of Another Life, ch. xvii.

This result seems the more probable of the two; for the assertion of countless decillions of personalities all progressing beyond every conceivable limit, on, still on, forever, is incredible. If endless linear progress were the destiny of each being, the whole universe would at last become a line! And though it is true that the idea of an ever novel chase attracts and refreshes the imagination, while the idea of a monotonous revolution repels and wearies it, this is simply because we judge after our poor earthly experience and its flagging analogies. It will not be so if that revolution is the vivid realization of all our being's possibilities.

Annihilation, absorption, resurrection, conveyance, recurrence, migration, transition, these seven answers to the question of our fate, and of its relation to the course of nature, are thinkable in words. We may choose from among them, but can construct no real eighth. First, there is a constant succession of growth and decay. Second, there is a perpetual flow and ebb of personal emanation and impersonal resumption. Third, there is a continual return of the same persistent entities. Fourth, all matter may be sublimated to spirit, and souls alone remain to occupy boundless space. Fifth, the power of death may cease, all the astronomic orbs be populated and enjoyed, each by one generation of everlasting inhabitants, the present order continuing in each earth until enough have lived to fill it, then all of them, physically restored, dwelling on it, with no more births or deaths. Sixth, if matter be not transmutable to soul, when that peculiar reality from which souls are developed is exhausted, and the last generation of incarnated beings have risen from the flesh, the material creation may, in addition to the inter stellar region, be eternally appropriated by the spirit races to their own free range and use, through adaptations of faculty unknown to us now; else it may vanish as a phantasmal spectacle. Or, finally, souls may be absolutely created out of nothing by the omnipotence of God, and the universe may be infinite: then the process may proceed forever.

But men's beliefs are formed rather by the modes of thought they have learned to adopt than by any proofs they have tested; not by argumentation about a subject, but by the way of looking at it. The moralist regards all creation as the work of a personal God, a theatre of moral ends, a just Providence watching over the parts, and the conscious immortality of the actors an inevitable accompaniment. The physicist contemplates the universe as constituted of atoms of attraction and repulsion, which subsist in perfect mobility through space, but are concreted in the molecular masses of the planets. The suns are vast engines for the distribution of heat or motion, the equivalent of all kinds of force. This, in its diffusion, causes innumerable circulations and combinations of the original atoms. Organic growth, life, is the fruition of a force derived from the sun. Decay, death, is the rendering up of that force in its equivalents. Thus, the universe is a composite unity of force, a solidarity of ultimate unities which are indestructible, though in constant circulation of new groupings and journeys. To the religious faith of the moralist, man is an eternal person, reaping what he has sowed. To the speculative intellect of the physicist, man is an atomic force, to be liberated into the ethereal medium until again harnessed in some organism. In both cases he is immortal: but in that, as a free citizen of the ideal world; in this, as a flying particle of the dynamic immensity.

Barbarian Notions of A Future Life

PROCEEDING now to give an account of the fancies and opinions in regard to a future life which have been prevalent, in different ages, in various nations of the earth, it will be best to begin by presenting, in a rapid series, some sketches of the conceits of those uncivilized tribes who did not so far as our knowledge reaches possess a doctrine sufficiently distinctive and full, or important enough in its historical relations, to warrant a detailed treatment in separate chapters.

We will glance first at the negroes. According to all accounts, while there are, among the numerous tribes, diversities and degrees of superstition, there is yet, throughout the native pagan population of Africa, a marked general agreement of belief in the survival of the soul, in spectres, divination, and witchcraft; and there is a general similarity of funeral usages. Early travellers tell us that the Bushmen conceived the soul to be immortal, and as impalpable as a shadow, and that they were much afraid of the return of deceased spirits to haunt them. They were accustomed to pray to their departed countrymen not to molest them, but to stay away in quiet. They also employed exorcisers to lay these ill omened ghosts. Meiners relates of some inhabitants of the Guinea coast that their fear of ghosts and their childish credulity reached such a pitch that they threw their dead into the ocean, in the expectation of thus drowning soul and body together.

Superstitions as gross and lawless still have full sway. Wilson, whose travels and residence there for twenty years have enabled him to furnish the most reliable information, says, in his recent work,1 "A native African would as soon doubt his present as his future state of being." Every dream, every stray suggestion of the mind, is interpreted, with unquestioning credence, as a visit from the dead, a whisper from a departed soul. If a man wakes up with pains in his bones or muscles, it is because his spirit has wandered abroad in the night and been flogged by some other spirit. On certain occasions the whole community start up at midnight, with clubs, torches, and hideous yells, to drive the evil spirits out of the village. They seem to believe that the souls of dead men take rank with good or bad spirits, as they have themselves been good or bad in this life. They bury with the deceased clothing, ornaments, utensils,

1 Western Africa, ch. xii.

and statedly convey food to the grave for the use of the revisiting spirit. With the body of king Weir of the Cavalla towns, who was buried in December of 1854, in presence of several missionaries, was interred a quantity of rice, palm oil, beef, and rum: it was supposed the ghost of the sable monarch would come back and consume these articles. The African tribes, where their notions have not been modified by Christian or by Mohammedan teachings, appear to have no definite idea of a heaven or of a hell; but future reward or punishment is considered under the general conception of an association, in the disembodied state, with the benignant or with the demoniacal powers.

The New Zealanders imagine that the souls of the dead go to a place beneath the earth, called Reinga. The path to this region is a precipice close to the sea shore at the North Cape. It is said that the natives who live in the neighborhood can at night hear sounds caused by the passing of spirits thither through the air. After a great battle they are thus warned of the event long before the news can arrive by natural means.2 It is a common superstition with them that the left eye of every chief, after his death, becomes a star. The Pleiades are seven New Zealand chiefs, brothers, who were slain together in battle and are now fixed in the sky, one eye of each, in the shape of a star, being the only part of them that is visible. It has been observed that the mythological doctrine of the glittering host of heaven being an assemblage of the departed heroes of earth never received a more ingenious version.3 Certainly it is a magnificent piece of insular egotism. It is noticeable here that, in the Norse mythology, Thor, having slain Thiasse, the giant genius of winter, throws his eyes up to heaven, and they become stars. Shungie, a celebrated New Zealand king, said he had on one occasion eaten the left eye of a great chief whom he had killed in battle, for the purpose of thus increasing the glory of his own eye when it should be transferred to the firmament. Sometimes, apparently, it was thought that there was a separate immortality for each of the eyes of the dead, the left ascending to heaven as a star, the right, in the form of a spirit, taking flight for Reinga.

The custom, common in Africa and in New Zealand, of slaying the slaves or the wives of an important person at his death and burying them with him, prevails also among the inhabitants of the Feejee Islands. A chief's wives are sometimes strangled on these occasions, sometimes buried alive. One cried to her brother, "I wish to die, that I may accompany my husband to the land where he has gone. Love me, and make haste to strangle me, that I may overtake him."4 Departing souls go to the tribunal of Ndengei, who either receives them into bliss, or sends them back, as ghosts, to haunt the scenes of their former existence, or distributes them as food to devils, or imprisons them for a period and then dooms them to annihilation. The Feejees are also very much afraid of Samiulo, ruler of a subterranean world, who sits at the brink of a huge fiery cavern, into which he hurls the souls he dislikes. In the road to Ndengei stands an enormous giant, armed with an axe, who tries to maim and murder the passing souls. A powerful chief, whose gun was interred with him, loaded it, and, when

2 Shortland, Traditions of the New Zealanders, ch. vii.

3 Library of Ent. Knowl.: The New Zealanders, pp. 223-237.

4 Wilkes, Narrative of the U. S. Exploring Expedition, vol. iii. ch. 3.

he came near the giant, shot at him, and ran by while the monster was dodging the bullet.

The people of the Sandwich Islands held a confused medley of notions as to another life. In different persons among them were found, in regard to this subject, superstitious terror, blank indifference, positive unbelief. The current fancy was that the souls of the chiefs were led, by a god whose name denotes the "eyeball of the sun," to a life in the heavens, while plebeian souls went down to Akea, a lugubrious underground abode. Some thought spirits were destroyed in this realm of darkness; others, that they were eaten by a stronger race of spirits there; others still, that they survived there, subsisting upon lizards and butterflies.5 What a piteous life they must have led here whose imaginations could only soar to a future so unattractive as this!

The Kamtschadales send all the dead alike to a subterranean elysium, where they shall find again their wives, clothes, tools, huts, and where they shall fish and hunt. All is there as here, except that there are no fire spouting mountains, no bogs, streams, inundations, and impassable snows; and neither hunting nor fishing is ever pursued in vain there. This lower paradise is but a beautified Kamtschatka, freed from discommoding hardships and cleansed of tormenting Cossacks and Russians. They have no hell for the rectification of the present wrong relations of virtue and misery, vice and happiness. The only distinction they appear to make is that all who in Kamtschatka are poor, and have few small and weak dogs, shall there be rich and be furnished with strong and fat dogs. The power of imagination is very remarkable in this raw people, bringing the future life so near, and awakening such an impatient longing for it and for their former companions that they often, the sooner to secure a habitation there, anticipate the natural time of their death by suicide.6

The Esquimaux betray the influence of their clime and habits, in the formation of their ideas of the life to come, as plainly as the Kamtschadales do. The employments and enjoyments of their future state are rude and earthy. They say the soul descends through successive places of habitation, the first of which is full of pains and horrors. The good, that is, the courageous and skilful, those who have endured severe hardships and mastered many seals, passing through this first residence, find that the other mansions regularly improve. They finally reach an abode of perfect satisfaction, far beneath the storms of the sea, where the sun is never obscured by night, and where reindeer wander in great droves beside waters that never congeal, and wherein the whale, the walrus, and the best sea fowls always abound.7 Hell is deep, but heaven deeper still. Hell, they think, is among the roots, rocks, monsters, and cold of the frozen or vexed and suffering waters; but

"Beneath tempestuous seas and fields of ice
Their creed has placed a lowlier paradise."

The Greenlanders, too, located their elysium beneath the abysses of the ocean, where the good Spirit Torngarsuk held his reign in a happy and eternal summer. The wizards, who pretended to visit this region at will, described the disembodied souls as pallid, and, if one

5 Jarves, Hist. of the Sandwich Islands, p. 42.

6 Christoph Meiners, Vermischte Philosophische Schriften, 169-173.

7 Prichard, Physical Hist. of Mankind, vol. i. ch. 2.

sought to seize them, unsubstantial.8 Some of these people, however, fixed the site of paradise in the sky, and regarded the aurora borealis as the playing of happy souls. So Coleridge pictures the Laplander

"Marking the streamy banners of the North, And thinking he those spirits soon should join Who there, in floating robes of rosy light, Dance sportively."

But others believed this state of restlessness in the clouds was the fate only of the worthless, who were there pinched with hunger and plied with torments. All agreed in looking for another state of existence, where, under diverse circumstances, happiness and misery should be awarded, in some degree at least, according to desert.9

The Peruvians taught that the reprobate were sentenced to a hell situated in the centre of the earth, where they must endure centuries of toil and anguish. Their paradise was away in the blue dome of heaven. There the spirits of the worthy would lead a life of tranquil luxury. At the death of a Peruvian noble his wives and servants frequently were slain, to go with him and wait on him in that happy region.10 Many authors, including Prescott, yielding too easy credence to the very questionable assertions of the Spanish chroniclers, have attributed to the Peruvians a belief in the resurrection of the body. Various travellers and writers have also predicated this belief of savage nations in Central Africa, of certain South Sea islanders, and of several native tribes in North America. In all these cases the supposition is probably erroneous, as we think for the following reasons. In the first place, the idea of a resurrection of the body is either a late conception of the associative imagination, or else a doctrine connected with a speculative theory of recurring epochs in the destiny of the world; and it is in both instances too subtle and elaborate for an uncultivated people. Secondly, in none of the cases referred to has any reliable evidence been given of the actual existence of the belief in question. It has merely been inferred, by persons to whose minds the doctrine was previously familiar, from phenomena by no means necessarily implying it. For example, a recent author ascribes to the Feejees the belief that there will be a resurrection of the body just as it was at the time of death. The only datum on which he founds this astounding assertion is that they often seem to prefer to die in the full vigor of manhood rather than in decrepit old age! 11 Thirdly, we know that the observation and statements of the Spanish monks and historians, in regard to the religion of the pagans of South America, were of the most imperfect and reckless character. They perpetrated gross frauds, such as planting in the face of high precipices white stones in the shape of the cross, and then pointing to them in proof of their assertion that, before the Christians came, the Devil had here parodied the rites and doctrines of the gospel. 12 They said the Mexican goddess, wife of the sun, was Eve, or

8 Egede, Greenland, ch. 18.

9 Dr. Karl Andree, Gronland.

10 Prescott, Conquest of Peru, vol. i. ch. 3.

11 Erskine, Islands of the Western Pacific, p. 248.

12 Schoolcraft, History, &c. of the Indian Tribes, part v. p. 93.

the Virgin Mary, and Quetzalcoatl was St. Thomas! 13 Such affirmers are to be cautiously followed. Finally, it is a quite significant fact that while some point to the pains which the Peruvians took in embalming their dead as a proof that they looked for a resurrection of the body, Acosta expressly says that they did not believe in the resurrection, and that this unbelief was the cause of their embalming.14 Garcilaso de la Vega, in his "Royal Commentaries of the Peruvian Incas," says that when he asked some Peruvians why they took so great care to preserve in the cemeteries of the dead the nails and hair which had been cut off, they replied that in the day of resurrection the dead would come forth with whatever of their bodies was left, and there would be too great a press of business in that day for them to afford time to go hunting round after their hair and nails.15 The fancy of a Christian is too plain here. If the answer were really made by the natives, they were playing a joke on their credulous questioner, or seeking to please him with distorted echoes of his own faith.

The conceits as to a future life entertained by the Mexicans varied considerably from those of their neighbors of Peru. Souls neither good nor bad, or whose virtues and vices balanced each other, were to enter a medium state of idleness and empty content. The wicked, or those dying in any of certain enumerated modes of death, went to Mictlan, a dismal hell within the earth. The souls of those struck by lightning, or drowned, or dying by any of a given list of diseases, also the souls of children, were transferred to a remote elysium, Tlalocan. There was a place in the chief temple where, it was supposed, once a year the spirits of all the children who had been sacrificed to Tlaloc invisibly came and assisted in the ceremonies. The ultimate heaven was reserved for warriors who bravely fell in battle, for women who died in labor, for those offered up in the temples of the gods, and for a few others. These passed immediately to the house of the sun, their chief god, whom they accompanied for a term of years, with songs, dances, and revelry, in his circuit around the sky. Then, animating the forms of birds of gay plumage, they lived as beautiful songsters among the flowers, now on earth, now in heaven, at their pleasure.16 It was the Mexican custom to dress the dead man in the garb appropriated to the guardian deity of his craft or condition in life. They gave him a jug of water. They placed with him slips of paper to serve as passports through guarded gates and perilous defiles in the other world. They made a fire of his clothes and utensils, to warm the shivering soul while traversing a region of cold winds beyond the grave.17 The following sentence occurs in a poem composed by one of the old Aztec monarchs: "Illustrious nobles, loyal subjects, let us aspire to that heaven where all is eternal and corruption cannot come. The horrors of the tomb are but the cradle of the sun, and the shadows of death are brilliant lights for the stars." 18

13 Squier, Serpent Symbol in America, p. 13.

14 Acosta, Natural and Moral History of the Indies, book v. ch. 7.

15 Book ii. ch. 7.

16 Clavigero, History of Mexico, book vi. sect. 1.

17 Prescott, Conquest of Mexico, vol. i. ch. 6.

18 Ibid. sect. 39.

Amidst the mass of whimsical conceptions entering into the faith of the widely spread tribes of North America, we find a ruling agreement in the cardinal features of their thought concerning a future state of existence. In common with nearly all barbarous nations, they felt great fear of apparitions. The Sioux were in the habit of addressing the deceased at his burial, and imploring him to stay in his own place and not come to distress them. Their funeral customs, too, from one extremity of the continent to the other, were very much alike. Those who have reported their opinions to us, from the earliest Jesuit missionaries to the latest investigators of their mental characteristics, concur in ascribing to them a deep trust in a life to come, a cheerful view of its conditions, and a remarkable freedom from the dread of dying. Charlevoix says, "The best established opinion among the natives is the immortality of the soul." On the basis of an account written by William Penn, Pope composed the famous passage in his "Essay on Man:"

Lo! the poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds and hears him in the wind.
His soul proud Science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk or milky way:
Yet simple nature to his faith hath given,
Behind the cloud topp'd hill, an humbler heaven,
Some safer world in depth of woods embraced,
Or happier island in the watery waste.
To be, contents his natural desire:
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire,
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company."

Their rude instinctive belief in the soul's survival, and surmises as to its destiny, are implied in their funeral rites, which, as already stated, were, with some exceptions, strikingly similar even in the remotest tribes.19

In the bark coffin, with a dead Indian the Onondagas buried a kettle of provisions, a pair of moccasins, a piece of deer skin and sinews of the deer to sew patches on the moccasins, which it was supposed the deceased would wear out on his journey. They also furnished him with a bow and arrows, a tomahawk and knife, to procure game with to live on while pursuing his way to the land of spirits, the blissful regions of Ha wah ne u.20 Several Indian nations, instead of burying the food, suspended it above the grave, and renewed it from time to time. Some writers have explained this custom by the hypothesis of an Indian belief in two souls, one of which departed to the realm of the dead, while the other tarried by the mound until the body was decayed, or until it had itself found a chance to be born in a new body.21 The supposition seems forced and extremely doubtful. The truth probably lies in a simpler explanation, which will be offered further on.

19 Baumgarten, Geschichte der Volker von America, xiii. haupts.: vom Tod, Vergribniss, und Trauer.

20 Clarke, Onondaga, vol. l. p. 51.

21 Muller, Geschichte der Amerikanischen Urreligionen, sect. 66.

The Winnebagoes located paradise above, and called the milky way the "Road of the Dead." 22 It was so white with the crowds of journeying ghosts! But almost all, like the Ojibways, imagined their elysium to lie far in the West. The soul, freed from the body, follows a wide beaten path westward, and enters a country abounding with all that an Indian covets. On the borders of this blessed land, in a long glade, he finds his relatives, for many generations back, gathered to welcome him.23 The Chippewas, and several other important tribes, always kindled fires on the fresh graves of their dead, and kept them burning four successive nights, to light the wandering souls on their way.24 An Indian myth represents the ghosts coming back from Ponemah, the land of the Hereafter, and singing this song to the miraculous Hiawatha:

"Do not lay such heavy burdens
On the graves of those you bury,
Not such weight of furs and wampum,
Not such weight of pots and kettles;
For the spirits faint beneath them.
Only give them food to carry,
Only give them fire to light them.
Four days is the spirit's journey
To the land of ghosts and shadows,
Four its lonely night encampments.
Therefore, when the dead are buried,
Let a fire, as night approaches,
Four times on the grave be kindled,
That the soul upon its journey
May not grope about in darkness." 25

The subject of a future state seems to have been by far the most prominent one in the Indian imagination. They relate many traditions of persons who have entered it, and returned, and given descriptions of it. A young brave, having lost his betrothed, determined to follow her to the land of souls. Far South, beyond the region of ice and snows, he came to a lodge standing before the entrance to wide blue plains. Leaving his body there, he embarked in a white stone canoe to cross a lake. He saw the souls of wicked Indians sinking in the lake; but the good gained an elysian shore, where all was warmth, beauty, ease, and eternal youth, and where the air was food. The Master of Breath sent him back, but promised that he might at death return and stay. 26 The Wyandots tell of a dwarf, Tcha ka bech, who climbed a tree which grew higher as often as he blew on it. At last he reached heaven, and discovered it to be an excellent place. He descended the tree, building wigwams at intervals in the branches. He then returned with his sister and nephew, resting each night in one of the wigwams.

22 Schoolcraft, History, &c. of the Indian Tribes, part iv. p. 240.

23 Ibid. part ii. p. 135.

24 Ibid. part v. p. 64; part iv. p. 55.

25 Longfellow, Song of Hiawatha, xix.: The Ghosts.

26 Schoolcraft, Indian in his Wigwam. p 79.

He set his traps up there to catch animals. Rising in the night to go and examine his traps, he saw one all on fire, and, upon approaching it, found that he had caught the sun!

Where the Indian is found believing in a Devil and a hell, it is the result of his intercourse with Europeans. These elements of horror were foreign to his original religion.27 There are in some quarters faint traces of a single purgatorial or retributive conception. It is a representation of paradise as an island, the ordeal consisting in the passage of the dark river or lake which surrounds it. The worthy cross with entire facility, the unworthy only after tedious struggles. Some say the latter are drowned; others, that they sink up to their chins in the water, where they pass eternity in vain desires to attain the alluring land on which they gaze.28 Even this notion may be a modification consequent upon European influence. At all events, it is subordinate in force and only occasional in occurrence. For the most part, in the Indian faith mercy swallows up the other attributes of the Great Spirit. The Indian dies without fear, looking for no punishments, only for rewards.29 He regards the Master of Breath not as a holy judge, but as a kind father. He welcomes death as opening the door to a sweet land. Ever charmingly on his closing eyes dawns the prospect of the aboriginal elysium, a gorgeous region of soft shades, gliding streams, verdant groves waving in gentle airs, warbling birds, herds of stately deer and buffalo browsing on level plains. It is the earth in noiseless and solemn metamorphosis.30

We shall conclude this chapter by endeavoring to explain the purport and origin of the principal ceremonies and notions which have now been set forth pertaining to the disembodied state. The first source of these particulars is to be sought, not in any clear mental perceptions, or conscious dogmatic belief, but in the natural workings of affection, memory, and sentiment. Among almost every people, from the Chinese to the Araucanians, from the Ethiopians to the Dacotahs, rites of honor have been paid to the dead, various offerings have been placed at their graves. The Vedas enjoin the offering of a cake to the ghosts of ancestors back to the third generation. The Greeks were wont to pour wine, oil, milk, and blood into canals made in the graves of their dead. The early Christians adopted these "Feasts of the Dead" as Augustine and Tertullian call them from the heathen, and Celebrated them over the graves of their martyrs and of their other deceased friends. Such customs as these among savages like the Shillooks or the Choctaws are usually supposed to imply the belief that the souls of the deceased remain about the places of sepulture and physically partake of the nourishment thus furnished. The interpretation is farther fetched than need be, and is unlikely; or, at all events, if it be true in some cases, it is not the whole truth. In the first place, these people see that the food and drink remain untouched, the weapons and utensils are left unused in the grave. Secondly, there are often certain features in the barbaric ritual obviously metaphorical, incapable of literal acceptance. For instance, the Winnebagoes light a small fire on the grave of a deceased warrior to light him on his journey to the land of souls,

27 Loskiel, Hist. Mission of United Brethren to N. A. Indians, part i. ch. 3.

28 Schoolcraft, Indian in his Wigwam, p. 202. History, &c. of Indian Tribes, part iv. p. 173.

29 Schoolcraft, History of Indian Tribes, part ii. p. 68.

30 Ibid. pp. 403, 404.

although they say that journey extends to a distance of four days and nights and is wholly invisible. They light and tend that watch fire as a memorial of their departed companion and a rude expression of their own emotions; as an unconscious emblem of their own struggling faith, not as a beacon to the straying ghost. Again, the Indian mother, losing a nursing infant, spurts some of her milk into the fire, that the little spirit may not want for nutriment on its solitary path.31 Plato approvingly quotes Hesiod's statement that the souls of noble men become guardian demons coursing the air, messengers and agents of the gods in the world. Therefore, he adds, "we should reverence their tombs and establish solemn rites and offerings there;" though by his very statement these places were not the dwellings or haunts of the freely circuiting spirits.32

Not by an intellectual doctrine, but by an instinctive association, when not resisted and corrected, we connect the souls of the dead in our thoughts with the burial places of their forms. The New Zealand priests pretend by their spells to bring wandering souls within the enclosed graveyards.33 These sepulchral folds are full of ghosts. A sentiment native to the human breast draws pilgrims to the tombs of Shakspeare and Washington, and, if not restrained and guided by cultivated thought, would lead them to make offerings there. Until the death of Louis XV., the kings of France lay in state and were served as in life for forty days after they died.34 It would be ridiculous to attempt to wring any doctrinal significance from these customs. The same sentiment which, in one form, among the Alfoer inhabitants of the Arru Islands, when a man dies, leads his relatives to assemble and destroy whatever he has left, which, in another form, causes the Papist to offer burning candles, wreaths, and crosses, and to recite prayers, before the shrines of the dead saints, which, in still another form, moved Albert Durer to place all the pretty playthings of his child in the coffin and bury them with it, this same sentiment, in its undefined spontaneous workings, impelled the Peruvian to embalm his dead, the Blackfoot to inter his brave's hunting equipments with him, and the Cherokee squaw to hang fresh food above the totem on her husband's grave post. What should we think if we could foresee that, a thousand years hence, when the present doctrines and customs of France and America are forgotten, some antiquary, seeking the reason why the mourners in Pere la Chaise and Mount Auburn laid clusters of flowers on the graves of their lamented ones, should deliberately conclude that it was believed the souls remained in the bodies in the tomb and enjoyed the perfume of the flowers? An American traveller, writing from Vienna on All Saints' Day, in 1855, describes the avenues of the great cemetery filled with people hanging festoons of flowers on the tombstones, and placing burning candles of wax on the graves, and kneeling in devotion; it being their childish belief, he says, that their prayers on this day have efficacy to release their deceased relatives from purgatory, and that the dim taper flickering on the sod lights the unbound soul to its heavenly home. Of course these rites are not literal expressions of literal beliefs, but are

31 Andree, North America, p. 246.

32 Republic, book v. ch. 15.

33 R. Taylor, New Zealand, ch. 7.

34 Meiners, Kritische Geschichte der Religionen, buch iii. absch. 1.

symbols of ideas, emblems of sentiments, figurative and inadequate shadows of a theological doctrine, although, as is well known, there is, among the most ignorant persons, scarcely any deliberately apprehended distinction between image and entity, material representation and spiritual verity.

If a member of the Oneida tribe died when they were away from home, they buried him with great solemnity, setting a mark over the grave; and whenever they passed that way afterwards they visited the spot, singing a mournful song and casting stones upon it, thus giving symbolic expression to their feelings. It would be absurd to suppose this song an incantation to secure the repose of the buried brave, and the stones thrown to prevent his rising; yet it would not be more incredible or more remote from the facts than many a commonly current interpretation of barbarian usages. An amusing instance of error well enforcing the need of extreme caution in drawing inferences is afforded by the example of those explorers who, finding an extensive cemetery where the aborigines had buried all their children apart from the adults, concluded they had discovered the remains of an ancient race of pigmies! 35

The influence of unspeculative affection, memory, and sentiment goes far towards accounting for the funeral ritual of the barbarians. But it is not sufficient. We must call in further aid; and that aid we find in the arbitrary conceits, the poetic associations, and the creative force of unregulated fancy and imagination. The poetic faculty which, supplied with materials by observation and speculation, constructed the complex mythologies of Egypt and Greece, and which, turning on its own resources, composed the Arabian tales of the genii and the modern literature of pure fiction, is particularly active, fertile, and tyrannical, though in a less continuous and systematic form, in the barbarian mind. Acting by wild fits and starts, there is no end to the extravagant conjectures and visions it bodies forth. Destitute of philosophical definitions, totally unacquainted with critical distinctions or analytic reflection, absurd notions, sober convictions, dim dreams, and sharp perceptions run confusedly together in the minds of savages. There is to them no clear and permanent demarcation between rational thoughts and crazy fancies. Now, no phenomenon can strike more deeply or work more powerfully in human nature, stirring up the exploring activities of intellect and imagination, than the event of death, with its bereaving stroke and prophetic appeal. Accordingly, we should expect to find among uncultivated nations, as we actually do, a vast medley of fragmentary thoughts and pictures plausible, strange, lovely, or terrible relating to the place and fate of the disembodied soul. These conceptions would naturally take their shaping and coloring, in some degree, from thescenery, circumstances, and experience amidst which they were conceived and born. Sometimes these figments were consciously entertained as wilful inventions, distinctly contemplated as poetry. Sometimes they were superstitiously credited in all their grossness with full assent of soul. Sometimes all coexisted in vague bewilderment. These lines of separation unquestionably existed: the difficulty is to know where, in given instances, to draw them. A few examples will serve at once to illustrate the

35 Smithsonian Contributions, vol. ii. Squier's Aboriginal Monuments, appendix, pp. 127-131.

operation of the principle now laid down, and to present still further specimens of the barbarian notions of a future life.

Some Indian tribes made offerings to the spirits of their departed heroes by casting the boughs of various trees around the ash, saying that the branches of this tree were eloquent with the ghosts of their warrior sires, who came at evening in the chariot of cloud to fire the young to deeds of war.36 There is an Indian legend of a witch who wore a mantle composed of the scalps of murdered women. Taking this off, she shook it, and all the scalps uttered shrieks of laughter. Another describes a magician scudding across a lake in a boat whose ribs were live rattlesnakes.37 An exercise of mind virtually identical with that which gave these strokes made the Philippine Islanders say that the souls of those who die struck by lightning go up the beams of the rainbow to a happy place, and animated Ali to declare that the pious, on coming out of their sepulchres, shall find awaiting them white winged camels with saddles of gold. The Ajetas suspended the bow and arrows of a deceased Papuan above his grave, and conceived him as emerging from beneath every night to go a hunting.38 The fisherman on the coast of Lapland was interred in a boat, and a flint and combustibles were given him to light him along the dark cavernous passage he was to traverse. The Dyaks of Borneo believe that every one whose head they can get possession of here will in the future state be their servant: consequently, they make a business of "head hunting," accumulating the ghastly visages of their victims in their huts.39 The Caribs have a sort of sensual paradise for the "brave and virtuous," where, it is promised, they shall enjoy the sublimated experience of all their earthly satisfactions; but the "degenerate and cowardly" are threatened with eternal banishment beyond the mountains, where they shall be tasked and driven as slaves by their enemies.40 The Hispaniolians locate their elysium in a pleasant valley abounding with guava, delicious fruits, cool shades, and murmuring rivulets, where they expect to live again with their departed ancestors and friends.41 The Patagonians say the stars are their translated countrymen, and the milky way is a field where the departed Patagonians hunt ostriches. Clouds are the feathers of the ostriches they kill.42 The play is here seen of the same mythological imagination which, in Italy, pictured a writhing giant beneath Mount Vesuvius, and, in Greenland, looked on the Pleiades as a group of dogs surrounding a white bear, and on the belt of Orion as a company of Greenlanders placed there because they could not find the way to their own country. Black Bird, the redoubtable chief of the O Ma Haws, when dying, said to his people, "Bury me on yonder lofty bluff on the banks of the Missouri, where I can see the men and boats passing by on the river." 43 Accordingly, as soon as he ceased

36 Browne, Trees of America, p. 328.

37 Schoolcraft, Hist. &c part i. pp. 32-34.

38 Earl, The Papuans, p. 132.

39 Earl, The Eastern Seas, ch. 8.

40 Edwards, Hist. of the West Indies, book i. ch. 2.

41 Ibid. ch. 3.

42 Falkner, Patagonia, ch. 5.

43 Catlin, North American Indians, vol. ii. p. 6.

to breathe, they set him there, on his favorite steed, and heaped the earth around him. This does not imply any believed doctrine, in our sense of the term, but is plainly a spontaneous transference for the moment, by the poetic imagination, of the sentiments of the living man to the buried body.

The unhappy Africans who were snatched from their homes, enslaved and cruelly tasked in the far West India islands, pined under their fate with deadly homesickness. The intense longing moulded their plastic belief, just as the sensation from some hot bricks at the feet of a sleeping man shaped his dreams into a journey up the side of Atna. They fancied that if they died they should immediately live again in their fatherland. They committed suicide in great numbers. At last, when other means had failed to check this epidemic of self destruction, a cunning overseer brought them ropes and every facility for hanging, and told them to hang themselves as fast as they pleased, for their master had bought a great plantation in Africa, and as soon as they got there they would be set to work on it. Their helpless credulity took the impression; and no more suicides occurred.44

The mutual formative influences exerted upon a people's notions concerning the future state, by the imagination of their poets and the peculiarities of their clime, are perhaps nowhere more conspicuously exhibited than in the case of the Caledonians who at an early period dwelt in North Britain. They had picturesque traditions locating the habitation of ghosts in the air above their fog draped mountains. They promised rewards for nothing but valor, and threatened punishments for nothing but cowardice; and even of these they speak obscurely. Nothing is said of an under world. They supposed the ghosts at death floated upward naturally, true children of the mist, and dwelt forever in the air, where they spent an inane existence, indulging in sorrowful memories of the past, and, in unreal imitation of their mortal occupations, chasing boars of fog amid hills of cloud and valleys of shadow. The authority for these views is Ossian, "whose genuine strains," Dr. Good observes, "assume a higher importance as historical records than they can claim when considered as fragments of exquisite poetry."

"A dark red stream comes down from the hill. Crugal sat upon the beam; he that lately fell by the hand of Swaran striving in the battle of heroes. His face is like the beam of the setting moon; his robes are of the clouds of the hill; his eyes are like two decaying flames; dark is the wound on his breast. The stars dim twinkled through his form, and his voice was like the sound of a distant stream. Dim and in tears he stood, and stretched his pale hand over the hero. Faintly he raised his feeble voice, like the gale of the reedy Lego. 'My ghost, O'Connal, is on my native hills, but my corse is on the sands of Ullin. Thou shalt never talk with Crugal nor find his lone steps on the heath. I am light as the blast of Cromla, and I move like the shadow of mist. Connal, son of Colgar, I see the dark cloud of death. It hovers over the plains of Lena. The sons of green Erin shall fall. Remove from the field of ghosts.' Like the darkened moon, he retired in the midst of the whistling blast."

We recognise here several leading traits in all the early unspeculative faiths, the vapory form, the echoless motion, the marks of former wounds, the feeble voice, the memory

44 Meiners, Geschichte der Religionen, buch xiv. sect. 765.

of the past, the mournful aspect, and the prophetic words. But the rhetorical imagery, the scenery, the location of the spirit world in the lower clouds, are stamped by emphatic climatic peculiarities, whose origination, easily traceable, throws light on the growth of the whole mass of such notions everywhere.

Two general sources have now been described of the barbarian conceptions in relation to a future state. First, the natural operation of an earnest recollection of the dead; sympathy, regret, and reverence for them leading the thoughts and the heart to grope after them, to brood over the possibilities of their fate, and to express themselves in rites and emblems. Secondly, the mythological or arbitrary creations of the imagination when it is set strongly at work, as it must be by the solemn phenomena associated with death. But beyond these two comprehensive statements there is, directly related to the matter, and worthy of separate illustration, a curious action of the mind, which has been very extensively experienced and fertile of results. It is a peculiar example of the unconscious impartation of objective existence to mental ideas. With the death of the body the man does not cease to live in the remembrance, imagination, and heart of his surviving friends. By an unphilosophical confusion, this internal image is credited as an external existence. The dead pass from their customary haunts in our society to the imperishable domain of ideas. This visionary world of memory and fantasy is projected outward, located, furnished, and constitutes the future state apprehended by the barbarian mind. Feuerbach says in his subtle and able Thoughts on Death and Immortality, "The Realm of Memory is the Land of Souls." Ossian, amid the midnight mountains, thinking of departed warriors and listening to the tempest, fills the gale with the impersonations, of his thoughts, and exclaims, "I hear the steps of the dead in the dark eddying blast."

The barbarian brain seems to have been generally impregnated with the feeling that every thing else has a ghost as well as man. The Gauls lent money in this world upon bills payable in the next. They threw letters upon the funeral pile to be read by the soul of the deceased.45 As the ghost was thought to retain the scars of injuries inflicted upon the body, so, it appears, these letters were thought, when destroyed, to leave impressions of what had been written on them. The custom of burning or burying things with the dead probably arose, in some cases at least, from the supposition that every object has its mancs. The obolus for Charon, the cake of honey for Cerberus, the shadows of these articles would be borne and used by the shadow of the dead man. Leonidas saying, "Bury me on my shield: I will enter even Hades as a Lacedamonian," 46 must either have used the word Hades by metonymy for the grave, or have imagined that a shadowy fac simile of what was interred in the grave went into the grim kingdom of Pluto. It was a custom with some Indian tribes, on the new made grave of a chief, to slay his chosen horse; and when he fell they supposed

"That then, upon the dead man's plain, The rider grasp'd his steed again."

45 Pomponius Mela, De Orbis Situ, iii. 2.

46 Translation of Greek Anthology, in Bohn's Library, p. 58.

The hunter chases the deer, each alike a shade. A Feejee once, in presence of a missionary, took a weapon from the grave of a buried companion, saying, "The ghost of the club has gone with him." The Iroquois tell of a woman who was chased by a ghost. She heard his faint war whoop, his spectre voice, and only escaped with her life because his war club was but a shadow wielded by an arm of air. The Slavonians sacrificed a warrior's horse at his tomb.47 Nothing seemed to the Northman so noble as to enter Valhalla on horseback, with a numerous retinue, in his richest apparel and finest armor. It was firmly believed, Mallet says, that Odin himself had declared that whatsoever was burned or buried with the dead accompanied them to his palace.48 Before the Mohammedan era, on the death of an Arab, the finest camel he had owned was tied to a stake beside his grave, and left to expire of hunger over the body of his master, in order that, in the region into which death had introduced him, he should be supplied with his usual bearer.49 The Chinese who surpass all other people in the offerings and worship paid at the sepulchres of their ancestors make little paper houses, fill them with images of furniture, utensils, domestics, and all the appurtenances of the family economy, and then burn them, thus passing them into the invisible state for the use of the deceased whom they mourn and honor.50 It is a touching thought with the Greenlanders, when a child dies, to bury a dog with him as a guide to the land of souls; for, they say, the dog is able to find his way anywhere.51 The shadow of the faithful servant guides the shadow of the helpless child to heaven. In fancy, not without a moved heart, one sees this spiritual Bernard dog bearing the ghost child on his back, over the spectral Gothard of death, safe into the sheltering hospice of the Greenland paradise.

It is strange to notice the meeting of extremes in the rude antithetical correspondence between Plato's doctrine of archetypal ideas, the immaterial patterns of earthly things, and the belief of savages in the ghosts of clubs, arrows, sandals, and provisions. The disembodied soul of the philosopher, an eternal idea, turns from the empty illusions of matter to nourish itself with the substance of real truth. The spectre of the Mohawk devours the spectre of the haunch of roast venison hung over his grave. And why should not the two shades be conceived, if either?

"Pig, bullock, goose, must have their goblins too,
Else ours would have to go without their dinners:
If that starvation doctrine were but true,
How hard the fate of gormandizing sinners!"

The conception of ghosts has been still further introduced also into the realm of mathematics in an amusing manner. Bishop Berkeley, bantered on his idealism by Halley, retorted that he too was an idealist; for his ultimate ratios terms only appearing with the

47 Wilkinson, Dalmatia and Montenegro, vol. i. ch. 1.

48 Northern Antiquities, ch. 10.

49 Lamartine, History of Turkey, book i. ch. 10.

50 Kidd, China, sect. 3.

51 Crantz, History of Greenland, book iii. ch. 6, sect. 47.

disappearance of the forms in whose relationship they consist were but the ghosts of departed quantities! It may be added here that, according to the teachings of physiological psychology, all memories or recollected ideas are literally the ghosts of departed sensations.

We have thus seen that the conjuring force of fear, with its dread apparitions, the surmising, half articulate struggles of affection, the dreams of memory, the lights and groups of poetry, the crude germs of metaphysical speculation, the deposits of the inter action of human experience and phenomenal nature, now in isolated fragments, again, huddled indiscriminately together conspire to compose the barbarian notions of a future life.

Grounds of the Belief in A Future Life

IT is the purpose of the following chapter to describe the originating supports of the common belief in a future life; not to probe the depth and test the value of the various grounds out of which the doctrine grows, but only to give a descriptive sketch of what they are, and a view of the process of growth. The objections urged by unbelievers belong to an open discussion of the question of immortality, not to an illustrative statement of the suggesting grounds on which the popular belief rests. When, after sufficient investigation, we ask ourselves from what causes the almost universal expectation of another life springs, and by what influences it is nourished, we shall not find adequate answer in less than four words: feeling, imagination, faith, and reflection. The doctrine of a future life for man has been created by the combined force of instinctive desire, analogical observation, prescriptive authority, and philosophical speculation. These are the four pillars on which the soul builds the temple of its hopes; or the four glasses through which it looks to see its eternal heritage.

First, it is obvious that man is endowed at once with foreknowledge of death and with a powerful love of life. It is not a love of being here; for he often loathes the scene around him. It is a love of self possessed existence; a love of his own soul in its central consciousness and bounded royalty. This is an inseparable element of his very entity. Crowned with free will, walking on the crest of the world, enfeoffed with individual faculties, served by vassal nature with tributes of various joy, he cannot bear the thought of losing himself, of sliding into the general abyss of matter. His interior consciousness is permeated with a self preserving instinct, and shudders at every glimpse of danger or hint of death. The soul, pervaded with a guardian instinct of life, and seeing death's steady approach to destroy the body, necessitates the conception of an escape into another state of existence. Fancy and reason, thus set at work, speedily construct a thousand theories filled with details. Desire first fathers thought, and then thought woos belief.

Secondly, man, holding his conscious being precious beyond all things, and shrinking with pervasive anxieties from the moment of destined dissolution, looks around through the realms of nature, with thoughtful eye, in search of parallel phenomena further developed, significant sequels in other creatures' fates, whose evolution and fulfilment may haply throw light on his own. With eager vision and heart prompted imagination he scrutinizes whatever appears related to his object. Seeing the snake cast its old slough and glide forth renewed, he conceives, so in death man but sheds his fleshly exuvia, while the spirit emerges, regenerate. He beholds the beetle break from its filthy sepulchre and commence its summer work; and straightway he hangs a golden scarsbaus in his temples as an emblem of a future life. After vegetation's wintry deaths, hailing the returning spring that brings resurrection and life to the graves of the sod, he dreams of some far off spring of Humanity, yet to come, when the frosts of man's untoward doom shall relent, and all the costly seeds sown through ages in the great earth tomb shall shoot up in celestial shapes. On the moaning sea shore, weeping some dear friend, he perceives, now ascending in the dawn, the planet which he lately saw declining in the dusk; and he is cheered by the thought that

"As sinks the day star in the ocean bed, And yet anon repairs his drooping head, And tricks his beams, and with new spangled ore Flames in the forehead of the morning sky, So Lycidas, sunk low, shall mount on high."

Some traveller or poet tells him fabulous tales of a bird which, grown aged, fills its nest with spices, and, spontaneously burning, soars from the aromatic fire, rejuvenescent for a thousand years; and he cannot but take the phoenix for a miraculous type of his own soul springing, free and eternal, from the ashes of his corpse. Having watched the silkworm, as it wove its cocoon and lay down in its oblong grave apparently dead, until at length it struggles forth, glittering with rainbow colors, a winged moth, endowed with new faculties and living a new life in a new sphere, he conceives that so the human soul may, in the fulness of time, disentangle itself from the imprisoning meshes of this world of larva, a thing of spirit beauty, to sail through heavenly airs; and henceforth he engraves a butterfly on the tombstone in vivid prophecy of immortality. Thus a moralizing observation of natural similitudes teaches man to hope for an existence beyond death.

Thirdly, the prevailing belief in a future life is spread and upheld by the influence of authority. The doctrine of the soul's survival and transference to another world, where its experience depends on conditions observed or violated here, conditions somewhat within the control of a select class of men here, such a doctrine is the very hiding place of the power of priest craft, a vast engine of interest and sway which the shrewd insight of priesthoods has often devised and the cunning policy of states subsidized. In most cases of this kind the asserted doctrine is placed on the basis of a divine revelation, and must be implicitly received. God proclaims it through his anointed ministers: therefore, to doubt it or logically criticize it is a crime. History bears witness to such a procedure wherever an organized priesthood has flourished, from primeval pagan India to modern papal Rome. It is traceable from the dark Osirian shrines of Egypt and the initiating temple at Eleusis to the funeral fires of Gaul and the Druidic conclave in the oak groves of Mona; from the reeking altars of Mexico in the time of Montezuma to the masses for souls in Purgatory said this day in half the churches of Christendom. Much of the popular faith in immortality which has prevailed in all ages has been owing to the authority of its promulgators, a deep and honest trust on the part of the people in the authoritative dicta of their religious teachers.

In all the leading nations of the earth, the doctrine of a future life is a tradition handed down from immemorial antiquity, embalmed in sacred books which are regarded as infallible revelations from God. Of course the thoughtless never think of questioning it; the reverent piously embrace it; all are educated to receive it. In addition to the proclamation of a future life by the sacred books and by the priestly hierarchies, it has also been affirmed by countless individual saints, philosophers, and prophets. Most persons readily accept it on trust from them as a demonstrated theory or an inspired knowledge of theirs. It is natural for modest unspeculative minds, busied with worldly cares, to say, These learned sages, these theosophic seers, so much more gifted, educated, and intimate with the divine counsels and plan than we are, with so much deeper experience and purer insight than we have, must know the truth: we cannot in any other way do so well as to follow their guidance and confide in their assertions. Accordingly, multitudes receive the belief in a life to come on the authority of the world's intellectual and religious leaders.

Fourthly, the belief in a future life results from philosophical meditation, and is sustained by rational proofs.1 For the completion of the present outline, it now remains to give a brief exposition of these arguments. For the sake of convenience and clearness, we must arrange these reasonings in five classes; namely, the physiological, the analogical, the psychological, the theological, and the moral.

There is a group of considerations drawn from the phenomena of our bodily organization, life and death, which compose the physiological argument for the separate existence of the soul. In the first place, it is contended that the human organization, so wondrously vitalized, developed, and ruled, could not have grown up out of mere matter, but implies a pre existent mental entity, a spiritual force or idea, which constituted the primeval impulse, grouped around itself the organic conditions of our existence, and constrained the material elements to the subsequent processes and results, according to a prearranged plan.2 This dynamic agent, this ontological cause, may naturally survive when the fleshly organization which it has built around itself dissolves. Its independence before the body began involves its independence after the body is ended. Stahl has especially illustrated in physiology this idea of an independent soul monad.

Secondly, as some potential being must have preceded our birth, to assimilate and construct the physical system, so the great phenomena attending our conscious life necessitate, both to our instinctive apprehension and in our philosophical conviction, the distinctive division of man into body and soul, tabernacle and tenant. The illustrious Boerhaave wrote a valuable dissertation on the distinction of the mind from the body, which is to be found among his works. Every man knows that he dwells in the flesh but is not flesh. He is a free, personal mind, occupying and using a material body, but not identified with it. Ideas and passions of purely immaterial origin pervade every nerve with terrific intensity, and shake his encasing corporeity like an earthquake. A thought, a sentiment, a fancy, may prostrate him as effectually as a blow on his brain from a hammer. He wills to move a palsied limb: the soul is unaffected by the paralysis, but the muscles refuse to obey his volition: the distinction between the person willing and the instrument to be wielded is unavoidable.

Thirdly, the fact of death itself irresistibly suggests the duality of flesh and spirit. It is the removal of the energizing mind that leaves the frame so empty and meaningless. Think of the undreaming sleep of a corpse which dissolution is winding in its chemical embrace. A moment ago that hand was uplifted to clasp yours, intelligent accents were vocal on those

1 Wohlfarth, Triumph des Glaubens an Unsterblichkeit und Wiedersehen uber jeden Zweifel. Oporinus, Historia Critica Doctrina de Immortalitate Mortalium.

2 Muller, Elements of Physiology, book vi. sect. i. ch. 1.

lips, the light of love beamed in that eye. One shuddering sigh, and how cold, vacant, forceless, dead, lies the heap of clay! It is impossible to prevent the conviction that an invisible power has been liberated; that the flight of an animating principle has produced this awful change. Why may not that untraceable something which has gone still exist? Its vanishing from our sensible cognizance is no proof of its perishing. Not a shadow of genuine evidence has ever been afforded that the real life powers of any creature are destroyed.3 In the absence of that proof, a multitude of considerations urge us to infer the contrary. Surely there is room enough for the contrary to be true; for, as Jacobi profoundly observes, "life is not a form of body; but body is one form of life." Therefore the soul which now exists in this form, not appearing to be destroyed on its departure hence, must be supposed to live hereafter in some other form.4

A second series of observations and reflections, gathered from partial similarities elsewhere in the world, are combined to make the analogical argument for a future life. For many centuries, in the literature of many nations, a standard illustration of the thought that the soul survives the decay of its earthy investiture has been drawn from the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into the butterfly.5 This world is the scene of our grub state. The body is but a chrysalis of soul. When the preliminary experience and stages are finished and the transformation is complete, the spirit emerges from its cast off cocoon and broken cell into the more ethereal air and sunnier light of a higher world's eternal day. The emblematic correspondence is striking, and the inference is obvious and beautiful. Nor is the change, the gain in endowments and privileges, greater in the supposed case of man than it is from the slow and loathsome worm on the leaf to the swift and glittering insect in the air.

Secondly, in the material world, so far as we can judge, nothing is ever absolutely destroyed. There is no such thing as annihilation. Things are changed, transformations abound; but essences do not cease to be. Take a given quantity of any kind of matter; divide and subdivide it in ten thousand ways, by mechanical violence, by chemical solvents. Still it exists, as the same quantity of matter, with unchanged qualities as to its essence, and will exist when Nature has manipulated it in all her laboratories for a billion ages. Now, as a solitary exception to this, are minds absolutely destroyed? are will, conscience, thought, and love annihilated? Personal intelligence, affection, identity, are inseparable components of the idea of a soul. And what method is there of crushing or evaporating these out of being? What force is there to compel them into nothing? Death is not a substantive cause working effects. It is itself merely an effect. It is simply a change in the mode of existence. That this change puts an end to existence is an assertion against analogy, and wholly unsupported.

Thirdly, following the analogy of science and the visible order of being, we are led to the conception of an ascending series of existences rising in regular gradation from coarse to fine, from brutal to mental, from earthly composite to simply spiritual, and thus pointing up the rounds of life's ladder, through all nature, to the angelic ranks of heaven. Then, feeling his kinship and common vocation with supernal beings, man is assured of a loftier condition of

3 Sir Humphry Davy, Proteus or Immortality.

4 Bakewell, Natural Evidence of a Future State.

5 Butler, Analogy, part i. ch. 1.

of existence reserved for him. There are no such immense, vacantly yawning chasms, as that would be, between our fleshly estate and the Godhead. Nature takes no such enormous jumps. Her scaling advance is by staid and normal steps.

"There's lifeless matter.
Add the power of shaping,
And you've the crystal: add again the organs
Wherewith to subdue sustenance to the form
And manner of one's self, and you've the plant:
Add power of motion, senses, and so forth,
And you've all kinds of beasts: suppose a pig.
To pig add reason, foresight, and such stuff,
Then you have man.
What shall, we add to man
To bring him higher?"

Freedom from the load of clay, emancipation of the spirit into the full range and masterdom of a spirit's powers!

Fourthly, many strong similarities between our entrance into this world and our departure out of it would make us believe that death is but another and higher birth.6 Any one acquainted with the state of an unborn infant deriving its sole nutriment, its very existence, from its vascular connection with its mother could hardly imagine that its separation from its mother would introduce it to a new and independent life. He would rather conclude that it would perish, like a twig wrenched from its parent limb. So it may be in the separation of the soul from the body. Further, as our latent or dimly groping senses were useless while we were developing in embryo, and then implied this life, so we now have, in rudimentary condition, certain powers of reason, imagination, and heart, which prophesy heaven and eternity; and mysterious intimations ever and anon reach us from a diviner sphere,

"Like hints and echoes of the world To spirits folded in the womb."

The Persian poet, Buzurgi, says on this theme,

"What is the soul? The seminal principle from the loins of destiny. This world is the womb: the body, its enveloping membrane: The bitterness of dissolution, dame Fortune's pangs of childbirth. What is death? To be born again, an angel of eternity."

Fifthly, many cultivated thinkers have firmly believed that the soul is not so young as is usually thought, but is an old stager on this globe, having lived through many a previous existence, here or elsewhere.7 They sustain this conclusion by various considerations, either drawn from premises presupposing the necessary eternity of spirits, or resting on dusky reminiscences, "shadowy recollections," of visions and events vanished long ago. Now, if the idea of foregone conscious lives, personal careers oft repeated with unlost being, be admitted, as it frequently has been by such men as Plato and Wordsworth, all the

6 Bretschneider, Predigten uber Tod, Unsterblichkeit, und Anferstehung.

7 James Parker, Account of the Divine Goodness concerning the Pre existence of Souls.

connected analogies of the case carry us to the belief that immortality awaits us. We shall live through the next transition, as we have lived through the past ones.

Sixthly, rejecting the hypothesis of an anterior life, and entertaining the supposition that there is no creating and overruling God, but that all things have arisen by spontaneous development or by chance, still, we are not consistently obliged to expect annihilation as the fate of the soul. Fairly reasoning from the analogy of the past, across the facts of the present, to the impending contingencies of the future, we may say that the next stage in the unfolding processes of nature is not the destruction of our consciousness, but issues in a purer life, elevates us to a spiritual rank. It is just to argue that if mindless law or boundless fortuity made this world and brought us here, it may as well make, or have made, another world, and bear us there. Law or chance excluding God from the question may as easily make us immortal as mortal. Reasoning by analogy, we may affirm that, as life has been given us, so it will be given us again and forever.

Seventhly, faith in immortality is fed by another analogy, not based on reflection, but instinctively felt. Every change of material in our organism, every change of consciousness, is a kind of death. We partially die as often as we leave behind forgotten experiences and lost states of being. We die successively to infancy, childhood, youth, manhood. The past is the dead: but our course is still on, forever on. Having survived so many deaths, we expect to survive all others and to be ourselves eternally.

There is a third cluster of reasonings, deduced from the distinctive nature of spirit, constituting the psychological argument for the existence of the soul independent of the body. In the outset, obviously, if the soul be an immaterial entity, its natural immortality follows; because death and decay can only be supposed to take effect in dissoluble combinations. Several ingenious reasons have been advanced in proof of the soul's immateriality, reasons cogent enough to have convinced a large class of philosophers.8 It is sufficient here to notice the following one. All motion implies a dynamic mover. Matter is dormant. Power is a reality entirely distinct from matter in its nature. But man is essentially an active power, a free will. Consequently there is in him an immaterial principle, since all power is immaterial. That principle is immortal, because subsisting in a sphere of being whose categories exclude the possibility of dissolution.9

Secondly, should we admit the human soul to be material, yet if it be an ultimate monad, an indivisible atom of mind, it is immortal still, defying all the forces of destruction. And that it actually is an uncompounded unit may be thus proved. Consciousness is simple, not collective. Hence the power of consciousness, the central soul, is an absolute integer. For a living perceptive whole cannot be made of dead imperceptive parts. If the soul were composite, each component part would be an individual, a distinguishable consciousness. Such not being the fact, the conclusion results that the soul is one, a simple substance.10

8 Astrue, Dissertation sur l'Immaterialite et l'Immortalite de l'Ame. Broughton, Defence of the Doctrine of the Human Soul as an Immaterial and Naturally Immortal Principle. Marstaller, Von der Unsterblichkeit der Menschlichen Seele.

9 Andrew Baxter, Inquiry into the Nature of the Soul.

10 Herbart, Lehrbuch zur Psychologie, sect. 150.

Of course it is not liable to death, but is naturally eternal.

Thirdly, the indestructibleness of the soul is a direct inference from its ontological characteristics. Reason, contemplating the elements of the soul, cannot but embrace the conviction of its perpetuity and its essential independence of the fleshly organization. Our life in its innermost substantive essence is best defined as a conscious force. Our present existence is the organic correlation of that personal force with the physical materials of the body, and with other forces. The cessation of that correlation at death by no means involves, so far as we can see, the destruction or the disindividualization of the primal personal force. It is a fact of striking significance, often noticed by psychologists, that we are unable to conceive ourselves as dead. The negation of itself is impossible to consciousness. The reason we have such a dread of death is that we conceive ourselves as still alive, only in the grave, or wandering through horrors and shut out from wonted pleasures. It belongs to material growths to ripen, loosen, decay; but what is there in sensation, reflection, memory, volition, to crumble in pieces and rot away? Why should the power of hope, and joy, and faith, change into inanity and oblivion? What crucible shall burn up the ultimate of force? What material processes shall ever disintegrate the simplicity of spirit? Earth and plant, muscle, nerve, and brain, belong to one sphere, and are subject to the temporal fates that rule there; but reason, imagination, love, will, belong to another, and, immortally fortressed there, laugh to scorn the fretful sieges of decay.

Fourthly, the surviving superiority of the soul, inferred from its contrast of qualities to those of its earthy environment, is further shown by another fact, the mind's dream power, and the ideal realm it freely soars or walks at large in when it pleases.11 This view has often been enlarged upon, especially by Bonnet and Sir Henry Wotton. The unhappy Achilles, exhausted with weeping for his friend, lay, heavily moaning, on the shore of the far sounding sea, in a clear spot where the waves washed in upon the beach, when sleep took possession of him. The ghost of miserable Patroclus calve to him and said, "Sleepest thou and art forgetful of me, O Achilles?" And the son of Peleus cried, "Come nearer: let us embrace each other, though but for a little while." Then he stretched out his friendly hands, but caught him not; for the spirit, shrieking, vanished beneath the earth like smoke.

Astounded, Achilles started up, clasped his hands, and said, dolefully, "Alas! there is then indeed in the subterranean abodes a spirit and image, but there is no body in it."12 The realm of dreams is a world of mystic realities, intangible, yet existent, and all prophetic, through which the soul nightly floats while the gross body slumbers. It is everlasting, because there is nothing in it for corruption to take hold of. The appearances and sounds of that soft inner sphere, veiled so remote from sense, are reflections and echoes from the spirit world. Or are they a direct vision and audience of it? The soul really is native resident in a world of truth, goodness, and beauty, fellow citizen with divine ideas and affections. Through the senses it has knowledge and communion with the hard outer world of matter. When the senses fall away, it is left, imperishable denizen of its own appropriate world of idealities.

11 Schubert, Die Symbolik des Traumes.

12 Iliad, lib. xxiii. ll. 60 106.

Another assemblage of views, based on the character of God, form the theological argument for the future existence of man.13 Starting with the idea of a God of infinite perfections, the immortality of his children is an immediate deduction from the eternity of his purposes. For whatever purpose God originally gave man being, for the disinterested distribution of happiness, for the increase of his own glory, or whatever else, will he not for that same purpose continue him in being forever? In the absence of any reason to the contrary, we must so conclude. In view of the unlimited perfections of God, the fact of conscious responsible creatures being created is sufficient warrant of their perpetuity. Otherwise God would be fickle. Or, as one has said, he would be a mere drapery painter, nothing within the dress.

Secondly, leaving out of sight this illustration of an eternal purpose in eternal fulfilment, and confining our attention to the analogy of the divine works and the dignity of the divine Worker, we shall be freshly led to the same conclusion. Has God moulded the dead clay of the material universe into gleaming globes and ordered them to fly through the halls of space forever, and has he created, out of his own omnipotence, mental personalities reflecting his own attributes, and doomed them to go out in endless night after basking, poor ephemera, in the sunshine of a momentary life? It is not to be imagined that God ever works in vain. Yet if a single consciousness be extinguished in everlasting nonentity, so far as the production of that consciousness is concerned he has wrought for nothing. His action was in vain, because all is now, to that being, exactly the same as if it had never been. God does nothing in sport or unmeaningly: least of all would he create filial spirits, dignified with the solemn endowments of humanity, without a high and serious end.14 To make men, gifted with such a transcendent largess of powers, wholly mortal, to rot forever in the grave after life's swift day, were work far more unworthy of God than the task was to Michael Angelo set him in mockery by Pietro, the tyrant who succeeded Lorenzo the Magnificent in the dukedom of Florence, that he should scoop up the snow in the Via Larga, and with his highest art mould a statue from it, to dissolve ere night in the glow of the Italian sun.

Thirdly, it is an attribute of Infinite Wisdom to proportion powers to results, to adapt instruments to ends with exact fitness. But if we are utterly to die with the ceasing breath, then there is an amazing want of symmetry between our endowments and our opportunity; our attainments are most superfluously superior to our destiny. Can it be that an earth house of six feet is to imprison forever the intellect of a La Place, whose telescopic eye, piercing the unfenced fields of immensity, systematized more worlds than there are grains of dust in this globe? the heart of a Borromeo, whose seraphic love expanded to the limits of sympathetic being? the soul of a Wycliffe, whose undaunted will, in faithful consecration to duty, faced the fires of martyrdom and never blenched? the genius of a Shakspeare, whose imagination exhausted worlds and then invented new? There is vast incongruity between our faculties and the scope given them here. On all it sees below the soul reads "Inadequate," and rises

13 Aebli, Unsterblichkeit der menschlichen Seele, sechster Brief.

14 Ulrici, Unsterblichkeit der menschlichen Seele aus dem Wesen Gottes erwiesen.

dissatisfied from every feast, craving, with divine hunger and thirst, the ambrosia and nectar of a fetterless and immortal world. Were we fated to perish at the goal of threescore, God would have harmonized our powers with our lot. He would never have set such magnificent conceptions over against such poor possibilities, nor have kindled so insatiable an ambition for so trivial a prize of dust to dust.

Fourthly, one of the weightiest supports of the belief in a future life is that yielded by the benevolence of God. Annihilation is totally irreconcilable with this. That He whose love for his creatures is infinite will absolutely destroy them after their little span of life, when they have just tasted the sweets of existence and begun to know the noble delights of spiritual progress, and while illimitable heights of glory and blessedness are beckoning them, is incredible. We are unable to believe that while his children turn to him with yearning faith and gratitude, with fervent prayer and expectation, he will spurn them into unmitigated night, blotting out those capacities of happiness which he gave them with a virtual promise of endless increase. Will the affectionate God permit humanity, ensconced in the field of being, like a nest of ground sparrows, to be trodden in by the hoof of annihilation? Love watches to preserve life. It were Moloch, not the universal Father, that could crush into death these multitudes of loving souls supplicating him for life, dash into silent fragments these miraculous personal harps of a thousand strings, each capable of vibrating a celestial melody of praise and bliss.

Fifthly, the apparent claims of justice afford presumptive proof, hard to be resisted, of a future state wherein there are compensations for the unmerited ills, a complement for the fragmentary experiences, and rectification for the wrongs, of the present life.15 God is just; but he works without impulse or caprice, by laws whose progressive evolution requires time to show their perfect results. Through the brief space of this existence, where the encountering of millions of free intelligences within the fixed conditions of nature causes a seeming medley of good and evil, of discord and harmony, wickedness often triumphs, villany often outreaches and tramples ingenuous nobility and helpless innocence. Some saintly spirits, victims of disease and penury, drag out their years in agony, neglect, and tears. Some bold minions of selfishness, with seared consciences and nerves of iron, pluck the coveted fruits of pleasure, wear the diadems of society, and sweep through the world in pomp. The virtuous suffer undeservedly from the guilty. The idle thrive on the industrious. All these things sometimes happen. In spite of the compensating tendencies which ride on all spiritual laws, in spite of the mysterious Nemesis which is throned in every bosom and saturates the moral atmosphere with influence, the world is full of wrongs, sufferings, and unfinished justice.16 There must be another world, where the remunerating processes interiorly begun here shall be openly consummated. Can it be that Christ and Herod, Paul and Nero, Timour and Fenelon, drop through the blind trap of death into precisely the same condition of unwaking sleep? Not if there be a God!

15 M. Jules Simon, La Religion Naturelle, liv. iii.: l'Immortalite.

16 Dr. Chalmers, Bridgewater Treatise, chap. 10.

There is a final assemblage of thoughts pertaining to the likelihood of another life, which, arranged together, may be styled the moral argument in behalf of that belief.17 These considerations are drawn from the seeming fitness of things, claims of parts beseeching completion, vaticinations of experience. They form a cumulative array of probabilities whose guiding forefingers all indicate one truth, whose consonant voices swell into a powerful strain of promise. First, consider the shrinking from annihilation naturally felt in every breast. If man be not destined for perennial life, why is this dread of non existence woven into the soul's inmost fibres? Attractions are co ordinate with destinies, and every normal desire foretells its own fulfilment. Man fades unwillingly from his natal haunts, still longing for a life of eternal remembrance and love, and confiding in it. All over the world grows this pathetic race of forget me nots. Shall not Heaven pluck and wear them on her bosom? Secondly, an emphatic presumption in favor of a second life arises from the premature mortality prevalent to such a fearful extent in the human family. Nearly one half of our race perish before reaching the age of ten years. In that period they cannot have fulfilled the total purposes of their creation. It is but a part we see, and not the whole. The destinies here seen segmentary will appear full circle beyond the grave.

The argument is hardly met by asserting that this untimely mortality is the punishment for non observance of law; for, denying any further life, would a scheme of existence have been admitted establishing so awful a proportion of violations and penalties? If there be no balancing sphere beyond, then all should pass through the experience of a ripe and rounded life. But there is the most perplexing inequality. At one fell swoop, infant, sage, hero, reveller, martyr, are snatched into the invisible state. There is, as a noble thinker has said, an apparent "caprice in the dispensation of death strongly indicative of a hidden sequel." Immortality unravels the otherwise inscrutable mystery.

Thirdly, the function of conscience furnishes another attestation to the continued existence of man. This vicegerent of God in the breast, arrayed in splendors and terrors, which shakes and illumines the whole circumference of our being with its thunders and lightnings, gives the good man, amidst oppressions and woes, a serene confidence in a future justifying reward, and transfixes the bad man, through all his retinue of guards and panoplied defences, with icy pangs of fear and with a horrid looking for judgment to come. The sublime grandeur of moral freedom, the imperilling dignities of probation, the tremendous responsibilities and hazards of man's felt power and position, are all inconsistent with the supposition that he is merely to cross this petty stage of earth and then wholly expire. Such momentous endowments and exposures imply a corresponding arena and career. After the trial comes the sentence; and that would be as if a palace were built, a prince born, trained, crowned, solely that he might occupy the throne five minutes! The consecrating, royalizing idea of duty cannot be less than the core of eternal life. Conscience is the sensitive corridor along which the mutual whispers of a divine communion pass and repass. A moral law and a free will

17 Crombie, Natural Theology, Essay IV.: The Arguments for Immortality. Bretschneider, Die Religiose Glaubenslehre, sect. 20-21.

are the root by which we grow out of God, and the stem by which we are grafted into him.

Fourthly, all probable surmisings in favor of a future life, or any other moral doctrine, are based on that primal postulate which, by virtue of our rational and ethical constitution, we are authorized and bound to accept as a commencing axiom, namely, that the scheme of creation is as a whole the best possible one, impelled and controlled by wisdom and benignity. Whatever, then, is an inherent part of the plan of nature cannot be erroneous nor malignant, a mistake nor a curse. Essentially and in the finality, every fundamental portion and element of it must be good and perfect. So far as science and philosophy have penetrated, they confirm by facts this a priori principle, telling us that there is no pure and uncompensated evil in the universe. Now, death is a regular ingredient in the mingled world, an ordered step in the plan of life. If death be absolute, is it not an evil? What can the everlasting deprivation of all good be called but an immense evil to its subject? Such a doom would be without possible solace, standing alone in steep contradiction to the whole parallel moral universe. Then might man utter the most moving and melancholy paradox ever expressed in human speech:

"What good came to my mind I did deplore, Because it perish must, and not live evermore."

Fifthly, the soul, if not outwardly arrested by some hostile agent, seems capable of endless progress without ever exhausting either its own capacity or the perfections of infinitude.18 There are before it unlimited truth, beauty, power, nobleness, to be contemplated, mastered, acquired. With indefatigable alacrity, insatiable faculty and desire, it responds to the infinite call. The obvious inference is that its destiny is unending advancement. Annihilation would be a sequel absurdly incongruous with the facts. True, the body decays, and all manifested energy fails; but that is the fault of the mechanism, not of the spirit. Were we to live many thousands of years, as Martineau suggests, no one supposes new souls, but only new organizations, would be needed. And what period can we imagine to terminate the unimpeded spirit's abilities to learn, to enjoy, to expand? Kant's famous demonstration of man's eternal life on the grounds of practical reason is similar. The related ideas of absolute virtue and a moral being necessarily imply the infinite progress of the latter towards the former. That progress is impossible except on condition of the continued existence of the same being. Therefore the soul is immortal.19

Sixthly, our whole life here is a steady series of growing preparations for a continued and ascending life hereafter. All the spiritual powers we develop are so much athletic training, all the ideal treasures we accumulate are so many preliminary attainments, for a future life. They have this appearance and superscription. Man alone foreknows his own death and expects a succeeding existence; and that foresight is given to prepare him. There are wondrous impulses in us, constitutional convictions prescient of futurity, like those prevising instincts in birds leading them to take preparatory flights before their actual migration.

18 Addison, Spectator, Nos. 3 and 210.

19 Jacob, Beweis fur die Unsterblichkeit der Seele aus dem Begriffe der Pflicht.

Eternity is the stuff of which our love, flying forward, builds its nest in the eaves of the universe. If we saw wings growing out upon a young creature, we should be forced to conclude that he was intended some time to fly. It is so with man. By exploring thoughts, disciplinary sacrifices, supernal prayers, holy toils of disinterestedness, he fledges his soul's pinions, lays up treasures in heaven, and at last migrates to the attracting clime.

"Here sits he, shaping wings to fly: His heart forebodes a mystery; He names the name eternity."

Seventhly, in the degree these preparations are made in obedience to obscure instincts and the developing laws of experience, they are accompanied by significant premonitions, lucid signals of the future state looked to, assuring witnesses of its reality. The more one lives for immortality, the more immortal things he assimilates into his spiritual substance, the more confirming tokens of a deathless inheritance his faith finds. He becomes conscious of his own eternity.20 When hallowed imagination weighs anchor and spreads sail to coast the dim shores of the other world, it hears cheerful voices of welcome from the headlands and discerns beacons burning in the port. When in earnest communion with our inmost selves, solemn meditations of God, mysterious influences shed from unseen spheres, fall on our souls, and many a "strange thought, transcending our wonted themes, into glory peeps." A vague, constraining sense of invisible beings, by whom we are engirt, fills us. We blindly feel that our rank and destination are with them. Lift but one thin veil, we think, and the occult Universe of Spirit would break to vision with cloudy crowds of angels. Thousand "hints chance dropped from nature's sphere," pregnant with friendly tidings, reassure us. "Strange," said a gifted metaphysician once, "that the barrel organ, man, should terminate every tune with the strain of immortality!" Not strange, but divinely natural. It is the tentative prelude to the thrilling music of our eternal bliss written in the score of destiny. When at night we gaze far out into immensity, along the shining vistas of God's abode, and are almost crushed by the overwhelming prospects that sweep upon our vision, do not some pre monitions of our own unfathomed greatness also stir within us? Yes: "the sense of Existence, the ideas of Right and Duty, awful intuitions of God and immortality, these, the grand facts and substance of the spirit, are independent and indestructible. The bases of the Moral Law, they shall stand in every tittle, although the stars should pass away. For their relations and root are in that which upholds the stars, even with worlds unseen from the finite, whose majestic and everlasting arrangements shall burst upon us as the heavens do through the night when the light of this garish life gives place to the solemn splendors of eternity."

Eighthly, the belief in a life beyond death has virtually prevailed everywhere and always. And the argument from universal consent, as it is termed, has ever been esteemed one of the foremost testimonies, if not indeed the most convincing testimony, to the truth of the doctrine. Unless the belief can be shown to be artificial or sinful, it must seem conclusive. Its innocence is self evident, and its naturalness is evidenced by its universality.

20 Theodore Parker, Sermon of Immortal Life.

The rudest and the most polished, the simplest and the most learned, unite in the expectation, and cling to it through every thing. It is like the ruling presentiment implanted in those insects that are to undergo metamorphosis. This believing instinct, so deeply seated in our consciousness, natural, innocent, universal, whence came it, and why was it given? There is but one fair answer. God and nature deceive not.

Ninthly, the conscious, practical faith of civilized nations, to day, in a future life, unquestionably, in a majority of individuals, rests directly on the basis of authority, trust in a foreign announcement. There are two forms of this authority. The authority of revelation is most prominent and extensive. God has revealed the truth from heaven. It has been exemplified by a miraculous resurrection. It is written in an infallible book, and sealed with authenticating credentials of super natural purport. It is therefore to be accepted with implicit trust. Secondly, with some, the authority of great minds, renowned for scientific knowledge and speculative acumen, goes far. Thousands of such men, ranking among the highest names of history, have positively affirmed the immortality of the soul as a reliable truth. For instance, Goethe says, on occasion of the death of Wieland, "The destruction of such high powers is something which can never, and under no circumstances, even come into question." Such a dogmatic expression of conviction resting on bare philosophical grounds, from a mind so equipped, so acute, and so free, has great weight, and must influence a modest student who hesitates in confessed incompetence.21 The argument is justly powerful when but humanly considered, and when divinely derived, of course, it absolutely forecloses all doubts.

Tenthly, there is another life, because a belief in it is necessary to order this world, necessary as a comfort and an inspiration to man now. A good old author writes, "the very nerves and sinews of religion is hope of immortality." The conviction that there is a retributive life hereafter is the moral cement of the social fabric. Take away this truth, and one great motive of patriots, martyrs, thinkers, saints, is gone. Take it away, and to all low minded men selfishness becomes the law, earthly enjoyment the only good, suffering and death the only evil. Life then is to be supremely coveted and never put in risk for any stake. Self indulgence is to be secured at any hazard, little matter by what means. Abandon all hope of a life to come, and "from that instant there is nothing serious in mortality." In order that the world should be governable, ethical, happy, virtuous, magnanimous, is it possible that it should be necessary for the world to believe in an untruth?

"So, thou hast immortality in mind?
Hast grounds that will not let thee doubt it?
The strongest ground herein I find:
That we could never do without it!"

Finally, the climax of these argumentations is capped by that grand closing consideration which we may entitle the force of congruity, the convincing results of a confluence of harmonious reasons. The hypothesis of immortality accords with the cardinal facts of observation, meets all points of the case, and satisfactorily answers every requirement.

21 Lewis, Influence of Authority in Matters of Opinion.

It is the solution of the problem, as the fact of Neptune explained the perturbations of the adjacent planets. Nothing ever gravitates towards nothing; and it must be an unseen orb that so draws our yearning souls. If it be not so, then what terrible contradictions stagger us, and what a chilling doom awaits us! Oh, what mocking irony then runs through the loftiest promises and hopes of the world! Just as the wise and good have learned to live, they disappear amidst the unfeeling waves of oblivion, like snow flakes in the ocean. "The super earthly desires of man are then created in him only, like swallowed diamonds, to cut slowly through his material shell" and destroy him.

The denial of a future life introduces discord, grief, and despair in every direction, and, by making each step of advanced culture the ascent to a wider survey of tantalizing glory and experienced sorrow, as well as the preparation for a greater fall and a sadder loss, turns faithful affection and heroic thought into "blind furies slinging flame." Unless immortality be true, man appears a dark riddle, not made for that of which he is made capable and desirous: every thing is begun, nothing ended; the facts of the present scene are unintelligible; the plainest analogies are violated; the delicately rising scale of existence is broken off abrupt; our best reasonings concerning the character and designs of God, also concerning the implications of our own being and experience, are futile; and the soul's proud faculties tell glorious lies as thick as stars. Such, at least, is the usual way of thinking.

However formidable a front may be presented by the spectral array of doubts and difficulties, seeming impediments to faith in immortality, the faithful servant of God, equipped with philosophical culture and a saintly life, will fearlessly advance upon them, scatter them right and left, and win victorious access to the prize. So the mariner sometimes, off Sicilian shores, sees a wondrous island ahead, apparently stopping his way with its cypress and cedar groves, glittering towers, vine wreathed balconies, and marble stairs sloping to the water's edge. He sails straight forward, and, severing the pillared porticos and green gardens of Fata Morgana, glides far on over a glassy sea smiling in the undeceptive sun.

Doctrine of A Future Life in the Epistle to the Hebrews

THE Epistle to the Hebrews was written by some person who was originally a Jew, afterwards a zealous Christian. He was unquestionably a man of remarkable talent and eloquence and of lofty religious views and feelings. He lived in the time of the immediate followers of Jesus, and apparently was acquainted with them. The individual authorship it is now impossible to determine with certainty. Many of the most learned, unprejudiced, and able critics have ascribed it to Apollos, an Alexandrian Jew, a compeer of Paul and a fellow citizen of Philo. This opinion is more probable than any other. Indeed, so numerous are the resemblances of thoughts and words in the writings of Philo to those in this epistle, that even the wild conjecture has been hazarded that Philo himself at last became a Christian and wrote to his Hebrew countrymen the essay which has since commonly passed for Paul's. No one can examine the hundreds of illustrations of the epistle gathered from Philo by Carpzov, in his learned but ill reasoned work, without being greatly impressed. The supposition which has repeatedly been accepted and urged, that this composition was first written in Hebrew, and afterwards translated into Greek by another person, is absurd, in view of the masterly skill and eloquence, critical niceties, and felicities in the use of language, displayed in it. We could easily fill a paragraph with the names of those eminent in the Church such as Tertullian, Hippolytus, Erasmus, Luther, Le Clerc, and Neander who have concluded that, whoever the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews was, he was not Paul. The list of those names would reach from the Egyptian Origen, whose candor and erudition were without parallel in his age, to the German Bleek, whose masterly and exhaustive work is a monument of united talent and toil, leaving little to be desired. It is not within our present aim to argue this point: we will therefore simply refer the reader to the thorough and unanswerable discussion and settlement of it by Norton.1

The general object of the composition is, by showing the superiority of the Christian system to the Hebrew, to arm the converts from Judaism to whom it is addressed against the temptations to desert the fulfilling faith of Christ and to return to the emblematic faith of their fathers. This aim gives a pervading cast and color to the entire treatment to the reasoning and especially to the chosen imagery of the epistle. Omitting, for the most part, whatever is not essentially interwoven with the subject of death, the resurrection, and future existence, and with the mission of Christ in relation to those subjects, we advance to the consideration of the views which the epistle presents or implies concerning those points. It is to be premised that we are forced to construct from fragments and hints the theological fabric that stood in the mind of the writer. The suggestion also is quite obvious that, since the letter is addressed solely to the Hebrews and describes Christianity as the completion of

1 Christian Examiner, vols. for 1827 29.

Judaism, an acquaintance with the characteristic Hebrew opinions and hopes at that time may be indispensable for a full comprehension of its contents.

The view of the intrinsic nature and rank of Christ on which the epistle rests seems very plainly to be that great Logos doctrine which floated in the philosophy of the apostolic age and is so fully developed in the Gospel of John: "The Logos of God, alive, energetic, irresistibly piercing, to whose eyes all things are bare and open;" "first begotten of God;" "faithful to Him that made him;" inferior to God, superior to all beside; "by whom God made the worlds;" whose seat is at the right hand of God, the angels looking up to him, and "the world to come put in subjection to him." The author, thus assuming the immensely super human rank and the pre existence of Christ, teaches that, by the good will of God, he descended to the world in the form of a man, to save them that were without faith and in fear, them that were lost through sin. God "bringeth in the first begotten into the world." "When he cometh into the world he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared for me." "Jesus was made a little while inferior to the angels." "Forasmuch, then, as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise partook of the same;" that is, in order to pass through an experience like that of those whom he wished to deliver, he assumed their nature. "He taketh not hold of angels, but he taketh hold of the seed of Abraham:" in other words, he aimed not to assist angels, but men. These passages, taken in connection with the whole scope and drift of the document in which they are found, declare that Jesus was a spirit in heaven, but came to the earth, taking upon him a mortal frame of flesh and blood.

Why he did this is the question that naturally arises next. We do not see how it is possible for any person to read the epistle through intelligently, in the light of an adequate knowledge of contemporary Hebrew opinions, and not perceive that the author's answer to that inquiry is, that Christ assumed the guise and fate of humanity in order to die; and died in order to rise from the dead; and rose from the dead in order to ascend to heaven; and ascended to heaven in order to reveal the grace of God opening the way for the celestial exaltation and blessedness of the souls of faithful men. We will commence the proof and illustration of these statements by bringing together some of the principal passages in the epistle which involve the objects of the mission of Christ, and then stating the thought that chiefly underlies and explains them.

"We see Jesus who was made a little while inferior to the angels, in order that by the kindness of God he might taste death for every man through the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor." With the best critics, we have altered the arrangement of the clauses in the foregoing verse, to make the sense clearer. The exact meaning is, that the exaltation of Christ to heaven after his death authenticated his mission, showed that his death had a divine meaning for men; that is, showed that they also should rise to heaven. "When he had by himself made a purification of our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." "For this cause he is the Mediator of the new covenant, that, his death having occurred, (for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant,) they which are called might enter upon possession of the promised eternal inheritance." The force of this last passage, with its context, turns on the double sense of the Greek word for covenant, which likewise means a will. Several statements in the epistle show the author's belief that the subjects of the old dispensation had the promise of immortal life in heaven, but had never realized the thing itself.2 Now, he maintains the purpose of the new dispensation to be the actual revelation and bestowment of the reality which anciently was only promised and typically foreshadowed; and in the passage before us he figures Christ the author of the Christian covenant as the maker of a will by which believers are appointed heirs of a heavenly immortality. He then following the analogy of testamentary legacies and legatees describes those heirs as "entering on possession of that eternal inheritance" "by the death of the Testator." He was led to employ precisely this language by two obvious reasons: first, for the sake of that paronomasia of which he was evidently fond; secondly, by the fact that it really was the death of Christ, with the succeeding resurrection and ascension, which demonstrated both the reality of the thing promised in the will and the authority of the Testator to bestow it.

All the expressions thus far cited, and kindred ones scattered through the work, convey a clear and consistent meaning, with sharp outlines and coherent details, if we suppose their author entertained the following general theory; and otherwise they cannot be satisfactorily explained. A dreadful fear of death, introduced by sin, was tyrannizing over men. In consequence of conscious alienation from God through transgressions, they shuddered at death. The writer does not say what there was in death that made it so feared; but we know that the prevailing Hebrew conception was, that death led the naked soul into the silent, dark, and dreary region of the under world, a doleful fate, from which they shrank with sadness at the best, guilt converting that natural melancholy into dread foreboding. In the absence of any evidence or presumption whatever to the contrary, we are authorized, nay, rather forced, to conclude that such a conception is implied in the passages we are considering. Now, the mission of Jesus was to deliver men from that fear and bondage, by assuring them that God would forgive sin and annul its consequence. Instead of banishing their disembodied spirits into the sepulchral Sheol, he would take them to himself into the glory above the firmament. This aim Christ accomplished by literally exemplifying the truths it implies; that is, by personally assuming the lot of man, dying, rising from among the spirits of the dead, and ascending beyond the veil into heaven. By his death and victorious ascent "he purged our sins," "redeemed transgressions," "overthrew him that has the power of death," in the sense that he thereby, as the writer thought, swept away the supposed train of evils caused by sin, namely, all the concomitants of a banishment after death into the cheerless subterranean empire.

It will be well now to notice more fully, in the author's scheme, the idea that Christ did locally ascend into the heavens, "into the presence of God," "where he ever liveth," and

2 xi. 13, 16, et al. See chap. x. 36,

where to receive the promise most plainly means to obtain the thing promised, as it does several times in the epistle.

So Paul, in his speech at Antioch, (Acts xiii. 32, 33,) says, "We declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again" that by this ascent he for the first time opened the way for others to ascend to him where he is, avoiding the doom of Hades.

"We have a great High Priest, who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God." "Christ is not entered into the most holy place, made with hands, the figure of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." Indeed, that Jesus, in a material and local sense, rose to heaven, is a conception fundamental to the epistle and prominent on all its face. It is much more necessary for us to show that the author believed that the men who had previously died had not risen thither, but that it was the Savior's mission to open the way for their ascension.

It is extremely significant, in the outset, that Jesus is called "the first leader and the bringer to the end of our faith;" for the words in this clause which the common version renders "author" and "finisher"3 mean, from their literal force and the latent figure they contain, "a guide who runs through the course to the goal so as to win and receive the prize, bringing us after him to the same consummation." Still more striking is the passage we shall next adduce. Having enumerated a long list of the choicest worthies of the Old Testament, the writer adds, "These all, having obtained testimony through faith, did not realize the promise,4 God having provided a better thing for us, that they without us should not be perfected," should not be brought to the end, the end of human destiny, that is, exaltation to heaven. Undoubtedly the author here means to say that the faithful servants of God under the Mosaic dispensation were reserved in the under world until the ascension of the Messiah. Augustine so explains the text in hand, declaring that Christ was the first that ever rose from the under world.5 The same exposition is given by Origen,6 and indeed by nearly every one of the Fathers who has undertaken to give a critical interpretation of the passage. This doctrine itself was held by Catholic Christendom for a thousand years; is now held by the Roman, Greek, and English Churches; but is, for the most part, rejected or forgotten by the dissenting sects, from two causes. It has so generally sunk out of sight among us, first, from ignorance, ignorance of the ancient learning and opinions on which it rested and of which it was the necessary completion; secondly, from rationalistic speculations, which, leading men to discredit the truth of the doctrine, led them arbitrarily to deny its existence in the Scripture, making them perversely force the texts that state it and wilfully blink the texts that hint it. Whether this be a proper and sound method of proceeding in critical investigations any one may judge. To us it seems equally unmanly and immoral. We know of but one justifiable course, and that is, with patience, with earnestness, and with all possible aids, to labor to discern the real and full meaning of the words according to the understanding and intention of the author. We do so elsewhere, regardless of consequences. No other method, in the case of the Scriptures, is exempt from guilt.

The meaning (namely, to bring to the end) which we have above attributed to the word [NAC](translated in the common version to make perfect) is the first meaning and the

3 Robinson's Lexicon, first edition, under [NAC]; also see Philo, cited there.

4 Ch. x. 36.

5 Epist. CLXIV. sect. ix., ed. Benedictina.

6 De Principiis, lib. ii. cap. 2.

etymological force of the word. That we do not refine upon it over nicely in the present instance, the following examples from various parts of the epistle unimpeachably witness. "For it was proper that God, in bringing many sons unto glory, should make him who was the first leader of their salvation perfect [reach the end] through sufferings;" that is, should raise him to heaven after he had passed through death, that he, having himself arrived at the glorious heavenly goal of human destiny, might bring others to it. "Christ, being made perfect," (brought through all the intermediate steps to the end,) "became the cause of eternal salvation to all them that obey him; called of God an high priest." The context, and the after assertion of the writer that the priesthood of Jesus is exercised in heaven, show that the word "perfected," as employed here, signifies exalted to the right hand of God. "Perfection" (bringing unto the end) "was not by the Levitical priesthood." "The law perfected nothing, but it was the additional introduction of a better hope by which we draw near unto God." "The law maketh men high priests which have infirmity, which are not suffered to continue, by reason of death; but the word of the oath after the law maketh the Son perfect for evermore," bringeth him to the end, namely, an everlasting priesthood in the heavens. That Christian believers are not under the first covenant, whereby, through sin, men commencing with the blood of Abel, the first death were doomed to the lower world, but are under the second covenant, whereby, through the gracious purpose of God, taking effect in the blood of Christ, the first resurrection, they are already by faith, in imagination, translated to heaven, this is plainly what the author teaches in the following words: "Ye are not come to the palpable mount that burneth with fire, and to blackness and tempest, where so terrible was the sight that Moses exceedingly trembled, but ye are come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, and to God, and to the spirits of the perfected just, and to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, and to the lustral blood which speaks better things than that of Abel." The connection here demonstrates that the souls of the righteous are called "perfected," as having arrived at the goal of their destiny in heaven. Again, the author, when speaking of the sure and steadfast hope of eternal life, distinguishes Jesus as a [non-ASCII characters], one who runs before as a scout or leader: "the Forerunner, who for us has entered within the veil," that is, has passed beyond the firmament into the presence of God. The Jews called the outward or lowermost heaven the veil.7 But the most conclusive consideration upon the opinion we are arguing for and it must be entirely convincing is to be drawn from the first half of the ninth chapter. To appreciate it, it is requisite to remember that the Rabbins with whose notions our author was familiar and some of which he adopts in his reasoning were accustomed to compare the Jewish temple and city with the temple and city of Jehovah above the sky, considering the former as miniature types of the latter. This mode of thought was originally learned by philosophical Rabbins from the Platonic doctrine of ideas, without doubt, and was entertained figuratively, spiritually; but in the unreflecting, popular mind the Hebraic views to which it gave rise were soon grossly materialized and located. They also derived the same conception from God's command to Moses when he was about to build the tabernacle:

7 Schoettgen, Hora Hebraica et Talmudica in 2 Cor. xii. 2.

"See thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount." They refined upon these words with many conceits. They compared the three divisions of the temple to the three heavens: the outer Court of the Gentiles corresponded with the first heaven, the Court of the Israelites with the second heaven, and the Holy of Holies represented the third heaven or the very abode of God. Josephus writes, "The temple has three compartments: the first two for men, the third for God, because heaven is inaccessible to men."8 Now, our author says, referring to this triple symbolic arrangement of the temple, "The priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service, but into the second went the high priest alone, once every year, not without blood; this, which was a figure for the time then present, signifying that the way into the holiest of all9 was not yet laid open; but Christ being come, an high priest of the future good things, by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal deliverance." The points of the comparison here instituted are these: On the great annual day of atonement, after the death of the victim, the Hebrew high priest went into the adytum of the earthly temple, but none could follow; Jesus, the Christian high priest, went after his own death into the adytum of the heavenly temple, and enabled the faithful to enter there after him. Imagery like the fore going, which implies a Sanctum Sanctorum above, the glorious prototype of that below, is frequent in the Talmud.10 To remove all uncertainty from the exposition thus presented, if any doubt linger, it is only necessary to cite one more passage from the epistle. "We have, therefore, brethren, by the blood of Jesus, leading into the holiest, a free road, a new and blessed road, which he hath inaugurated for us through the veil, that is to say, through his flesh." As there was no entrance for the priest into the holiest of the temple save by the removal of the veil, so Christ could not enter heaven except by the removal of his body. The blood of Jesus here, as in most cases in the New Testament, means the death of Jesus, involving his ascension. Chrysostom, commenting on these verses, says, in explanation of the word [non-ASCII characters], "Christ laid out the road and was the first to go over it. The first way was of death, leading [ad inferos] to the under world; the other is of life," leading to heaven.

The interpretation we have given of these passages reconciles and blends that part of the known contemporary opinions which applies to them, and explains and justifies the natural force of the imagery and words employed.

Its accuracy seems to us unquestionable by any candid person who is competently acquainted with the subject. The substance of it is, that Jesus came from God to the earth as a man, laid down his life that he might rise from the dead into heaven again, into the real Sanctum Sanctorum of the universe, thereby proving that faithful believers also shall rise thither, being thus delivered, after the pattern of his evident deliverance, from the imprisonment of the realm of death below.

We now proceed to quote and unfold five distinct passages, not yet brought forward, from the epistle, each of which proves that we are not mistaken in attributing to the writer

8 Antiq. lib. iii. cap. 6, sect. 4; ibid. cap. 7, sect. 7.

9 Philo declares, "The whole universe is one temple of God, in which the holiest of all is heaven." De Monarchia, p. 222, ed. Mangey.

10 Schoettgen, Dissertatio de Hierosolyma Coelesti, cap. 2, sect. 9.

of it the above stated general theory. In the first verse which we shall adduce it is certain that the word "death" includes the entrance of the soul into the subterranean kingdom of ghosts. It is written of Christ that, "in the days of his flesh, when he had earnestly prayed to Him that was able to do it, to save him from death, he was heard," and was advanced to be a high priest in the heavens, "was made higher than the heavens." Now, obviously, God did not rescue Christ from dying, but he raised him, [non-ASCII characters], from the world of the dead.

So Chrysostom declares, referring to this very text, "Not to be retained in the region of the dead, but to be delivered from it, is virtually not to die."11 Moreover, the phrase above translated "to save him from death" may be translated, with equal propriety, "to bring him back safe from death."

The Greek verb [non-ASCII characters], to save, is often so used to denote the safe restoration of a warrior from an incursion into an enemy's domain. The same use made here by our author of the term "death" we have also found made by Philo Judaus. "The wise," Philo says, "inherit the Olympic and heavenly region to dwell in, always studying to go above; the bad inherit the innermost parts of the under world, always laboring to die."12 The antithesis between going above and dying, and the mention of the under world in connection with the latter, prove that to die here means, or at least includes, going below after death.

The Septuagint version of the Old Testament twice translates Sheol by the word "death."13 The Hebrew word for death, maveth, is repeatedly used for the abode of the dead.14 And the nail of the interpretation we are urging is clenched by this sentence from Origen: "The under world, in which souls are detained by death, is called death."15 Bretschneider cites nearly a dozen passages from the New Testament where, in his judgment, death is used to denote Hades.

Again: we read that Christ took human nature upon him "in order that by means of [his own] death he might render him that has the power of death that is, the devil idle, and deliver those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." It is apparent at once that the mere death of Christ, so far from ending the sway of Death, would be giving the grim monster a new victory, incomparably the most important he had ever achieved. Therefore, the only way to make adequate sense of the passage is to join with the Savior's death what followed it, namely, his resurrection and ascension. It was the Hebrew belief that sin, introduced by the fraud of the devil, was the cause of death, and the doomer of the disembodied spirits of men to the lower caverns of darkness and rest. They personified Death as king, tyrannizing over mankind; and, unless in severe affliction, they dreaded the hour when they must lie down under his sceptre and sink into his voiceless kingdom of shadows. Christ broke the power of Satan, closed his busy reign, rescued the captive souls, and relieved the timorous hearts of the faithful, by rising triumphantly from

11 Homil. Epist. ad Heb. in hoc loc.

12 Quod a Deo mitt. Somn., p. 643, ed. Mangey.

13 2 Sam. xxii. 6; Prov. xxiii. 14.

14 Ps. ix. 13. Prov. vii, 27.

15 Comm. in Epist. ad Rom., lib. vi. cap. 6, sect. 6.: "Inferni locus in quo anima detinebantur a morte mors appellatur."

the long bound dominion of the grave, and ascending in a new path of light, pioneering the saints to immortal glory.

In another part of the epistle, the writer, having previously explained that as the high priest after the death of the expiatory goat entered the typical holy place in the temple, so Christ after his own death entered the true holy place in the heavens, goes on to guard against the analogy being forced any further to deny the necessity of Christ's service being repeated, as the priest's was annually repeated, saying, "For then he must have died many times since the foundation of the world; but, on the contrary, [it suffices that] once, at the close of the ages, through the sacrifice of himself he hath appeared [in heaven] for the abrogation of sin."16 The rendering and explanation we give of this language are those adopted by the most distinguished commentators, and must be justified by any one who examines the proper punctuation of the clauses and studies the context. The simple idea is, that, by the sacrifice of his body through death, Christ rose and showed himself in the presence of God. The author adds that this was done "unto the annulling of sin." It is with reference to these last words principally that we have cited the passage. What do they mean? In what sense can the passing of Christ's soul into heaven after death be said to have done away with sin? In the first place, the open manifestation of Christ's disenthralled and risen soul in the supernal presence of God did not in any sense abrogate sin itself, literally considered, because all kinds of sin that ever were upon the earth among men before have been ever since, and are now. In the second place, that miraculous event did not annul and remove human guilt, the consciousness of sin and responsibility for it, because, in fact, men feel the sting and load of guilt now as badly as ever; and the very epistle before us, as well as the whole New Testament, addresses Christians as being exposed to constant and varied danger of incurring guilt and woe. But, in the third place, the ascension of Jesus did show very plainly to the apostles and first Christians that what they supposed to be the great outward penalty of sin was annulled; that it was no longer a necessity for the spirit to descend to the lower world after death; that fatal doom, entailed on the generations of humanity by sin, was now abrogated for all who were worthy. Such, we have not a doubt, is the true meaning of the declaration under review.

This exposition is powerfully confirmed by the two succeeding verses, which we will next pass to examine. "As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, without sin, for salvation unto those expecting him." Man dies once, and then passes into that state of separate existence in the under world which is the legal judgment for sin. Christ, taking upon himself, with the nature of man, the burden of man's lot and doom, died once, and then rose from the dead by the gracious power of the Father, bearing away the outward penalty of sin. He will come again into the world, uninvolved, the next time, with any of the accompaniments or consequences of sin, to save them that look for him, and victoriously lead them into heaven with him. In this instance, as all through the writings of the apostles,

16 Griesbach in loc.; and Rosenmuller.

sin, death, and the under world are three segments of a circle, each necessarily implying the others. The same remark is to be made of the contrasted terms righteousness, grace, immortal life above the sky; 17 the former being traced from the sinful and fallen Adam, the latter from the righteous and risen Christ.

The author says, "If the blood of bulls and goats sanctifies unto the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who having18 an eternal spirit offered himself faultless to God, cleanse your consciousness!" The argument, fully expressed, is, if the blood of perishable brutes cleanses the body, the blood of the immortal Christ cleanses the soul. The implied inference is, that as the former fitted the outward man for the ritual privileges of the temple, so the latter fitted the inward man for the spiritual privileges of heaven. This appears clearly from what follows in the next chapter, where the writer says, in effect, that "it is not possible for the blood of bulls and of goats to take away sins, however often it is offered, but that Christ, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down at the right hand of God." The reason given for the efficacy of Christ's offering is that he sat down at the right hand of God. When the chosen animals were sacrificed for sins, they utterly perished, and there was an end. But when Christ was offered, his soul survived and rose into heaven, an evident sign that the penalty of sin, whereby men were doomed to the under world after death, was abolished. This perfectly explains the language; and nothing else, it seems to us, can perfectly explain it.

That Christ would speedily reappear from heaven in triumph, to judge his foes and save his disciples, was a fundamental article in the primitive Church scheme of the last things. There are unmistakable evidences of such a belief in our author. "For yet a little while, and the coming one will come, and will not delay." "Provoke one another unto love and good works, . . . so much the more as ye see the day drawing near." There is another reference to this approaching advent, which, though obscure, affords important testimony. Jesus, when he had ascended, "sat down at the right hand of God, henceforward waiting till his enemies be made his footstool." That is to say, he is tarrying in heaven for the appointed time to arrive when he shall come into the world again to consummate the full and final purposes of his mission. We may leave this division of the subject established beyond all question, by citing a text which explicitly states the idea in so many words: "Unto them that look for him he shall appear the second time." That expectation of the speedy second coming of the Messiah which haunted the early Christians, therefore, unquestionably occupied the mind of the composer of the Epistle to the Hebrews.

If the writer of this epistolary essay had a firm and detailed opinion as to the exact fate to be allotted to wicked and persistent unbelievers, his allusions to that opinion are too few and vague for us to determine precisely what it was. We will briefly quote the substance of what he says upon the subject, and add a word in regard to the inferences it does, or it does not, warrant. "If under the Mosaic dispensation every transgression received a just recompense, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, first proclaimed by the

17 Neander, Planting and Training of the Church, Ryland's trans. p. 298.

18 [Non-ASCII characters] is often used in the sense of with, or possessing. See Wahl's New Testament Lexicon.

Lord?" "As the Israelites that were led out of Egypt by Moses, on account of their unbelief and provocations, were not permitted to enter the promised land, but perished in the wilderness, so let us fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." Christ "became the cause of eternal salvation to all them that obey him." "He hath brought unto the end forever them that are sanctified." It will be observed that these last specifications are partial, and that nothing is said of the fate of those not included under them. "It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, . . . if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance. . . . But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, even things that accompany salvation." "We are not of them who draw back unto the destruction, but of them who believe unto the preservation, of the soul." "If we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there is no longer left a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and of fiery indignation to devour the adversaries." "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." "If they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, [Moses,] much more we shall not escape if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven," (Christ.) In view of the foregoing passages, which represent the entire teaching of the epistle in relation to the ultimate destination of sinners, we must assert as follows. First, the author gives no hint of the doctrine of literal torments in a local hell. Secondly, he is still further from favoring nay, he unequivocally denies the doctrine of unconditional, universal salvation. Thirdly, he either expected that the reprobate would be absolutely destroyed at the second coming of Christ, which does not seem to be declared; or that they would be exiled forever from the kingdom of glory into the sad and slumberous under world, which is not clearly implied; or that they would be punished according to their evil, and then, restored to Divine favor, be exalted into heaven with the original elect, which is not written in the record; or, lastly, that they would be disposed of in some way unknown to him, which he does not avow. He makes no allusion to such a terrific conception as is expressed by our modern use of the word hell: he emphatically predicates conditionality of salvation, he threatens sinners in general terms with severe judgment. Further than this he has neglected to state his faith. If it reached any further, he has preferred to leave the statement of it in vague and impressive gloom.

Let us stop a moment and epitomize the steps we have taken. Jesus, the Son of God, was a spirit in heaven. He came upon the earth in the guise of humanity to undergo its whole experience and to be its redeemer. He died, passed through the vanquished kingdom of the grave, and rose into heaven again, to exemplify to men that through the grace of God a way was opened to escape the under world, the great external penalty of sin, and reach a better country, even a heavenly. From his seat at God's right hand, he should ere long descend to complete God's designs in his mission, judge his enemies and lead his accepted followers to heaven. The all important thought running through the length and breadth of the treatise is the ascension of Christ from the midst of the dead [non-ASCII characters]into the celestial presence, as the pledge of our ascent. "Among the things of which we are speaking, this is the capital consideration, [non-ASCII characters] the most essential point, "that we have such a high priest, who hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." Neander says, though apparently without perceiving the extent of its ulterior significance, "The conception of the resurrection in relation to the whole Christian system lies at the basis of this epistle."

A brief sketch and exposition of the scope of the epistle in general will cast light and confirmation upon the interpretation we have given of its doctrine of a future life in particular. The one comprehensive design of the writer, it is perfectly clear, is to prove to the Christian converts from the Hebrews the superiority of Christianity to Judaism, and thus to arm them against apostasy from the new covenant to the ancient one. He begins by showing that Christ, the bringer of the gospel, is greater than the angels, by whom the law was given,19 and consequently that his word is to be reverenced still more than theirs.20 Next he argues that Jesus, the Christian Mediator, as the Son of God, is crowned with more authority and is worthy of more glory than Moses, the Jewish mediator, as the servant of God; and that as Moses led his people towards the rest of Canaan, so Christ leads his people towards the far better rest of heaven. He then advances to demonstrate the superiority of Christ to the Levitical priesthood. This he establishes by pointing out the facts that the Levitical priest had a transient honor, being after the law of a carnal commandment, his offerings referring to the flesh, while Christ has an unchangeable priesthood, being after the power of an endless life, his offering referring to the soul; that the Levitical priest once a year went into the symbolic holy place in the temple, unable to admit others, but Jesus rose into the real holy place itself above, opening a way for all faithful disciples to follow; and that the Hebrew temple and ceremonies were but the small type and shadow of the grand archetypal temple in heaven, where Christ is the immortal High Priest, fulfilling in the presence of God the completed reality of what Judaism merely miniatured, an emblematic pattern that could make nothing perfect. "By him therefore let us continually offer to God the sacrifice of praise." The author intersperses, and closes with, exhortations to steadfast faith, pure morals, and fervent piety.

There is one point in this epistle which deserves, in its essential connection with the doctrine of the future life, a separate treatment. It is the subject of the Atonement. The correspondence between the sacrifices in the Hebrew ritual and the sufferings and death of Christ would, from the nature of the case, irresistibly suggest the sacrificial terms and metaphors which our author uses in a large part of his argument. Moreover, his precise aim in writing compelled him to make these resemblances as prominent, as significant, and as effective as possible. Griesbach says well, in his learned and able essay, "When it was impossible for the Jews, lately brought to the Christian faith, to tear away the attractive associations of their ancestral religion, which were twined among the very roots of their minds, and they were consequently in danger of falling away from Christ, the most ingenious author of this epistle met the case by a masterly expedient. He instituted a careful comparison, showing the superiority of Christianity to Judaism even in regard to the very point where the latter seemed so much more glorious, namely, in priesthoods, temples,

19 Heb. i. 4 14, ii. 2; Acts vii. 53; Gal. iii.

20 Heb. ii. 1 3.

altars, victims, lustrations, and kindred things."21 That these comparisons are sometimes used by the writer analogically, figuratively, imaginatively, for the sake of practical illustration and impression, not literally as logical expressions and proofs of a dogmatic theory of atonement, is made sufficiently plain by the following quotations. "The bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest for sin are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people through his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach." Every one will at once perceive that these sentences are not critical statements of theological truths, but are imaginative expressions of practical lessons, spiritual exhortations. Again, we read, "It was necessary that the patterns of the heavenly things should be purified with sacrificed animals, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these." Certainly it is only by an exercise of the imagination, for spiritual impression, not for philosophical argument, that heaven can be said to be defiled by the sins of men on earth so as to need cleansing by the lustral blood of Christ. The writer also appeals to his readers in these terms: "To do good and to communicate forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." The purely practical aim and rhetorical method with which the sacrificial language is employed here are evident enough. We believe it is used in the same way wherever it occurs in the epistle.

The considerations which have convinced us, and which we think ought to convince every unprejudiced mind, that the Calvinistic scheme of a substitutional expiation for sin, a placation of Divine wrath by the offering of Divine blood, was not in the mind of the author, and does not inform his expressions when they are rightly understood, may be briefly presented. First, the notion that the suffering of Christ in itself ransomed lost souls, bought the withheld grace and pardon of God for us, is confessedly foreign and repulsive to the instinctive moral sense and to natural reason, but is supposed to rest on the authority of revelation. Secondly, that doctrine is nowhere specifically stated in the epistle, but is assumed, or inferred, to explain language which to a superficial look seems to imply it, perhaps even seems to be inexplicable without it;22 but in reality such a view is inconsistent with that language when it is accurately studied. For example, notice the following passage: "When Christ cometh into the world," he is represented as saying, "I come to do thy will, O God." "By the which will," the writer continues, "we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus." That is, the death of Christ, involving his resurrection and ascension into heaven, fulfils and exemplifies the gracious purpose of God, not purchases for us an otherwise impossible benignity. The above cited explicit declaration is irreconcilable

21 Opuscula: De Imaginibus Judaicis in Epist. ad Hebraos.

22 That these texts were not originally understood as implying any vicarious efficacy in Christ's painful death, but as attributing a typical power to his triumphant resurrection, his glorious return from the world of the dead into heaven, appears very plainly in the following instance, Theodoret, one of the earliest explanatory writers on the New Testament, says, while expressly speaking of Christ's death, the sufferings through which he was perfected, "His resurrection certified a resurrection for us all." Comm. in Epist. ad Heb. cap. 2, v. 10.

with the thought that Christ came into the world to die that he might appease the flaming justice and anger of God, and by vicarious agony buy the remission of human sins: it conveys the idea, on the contrary, that God sent Christ to prove and illustrate to men the free fulness of his forgiving love. Thirdly, the idea, which we think was the idea of the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, that Christ, by his death, resurrection, and ascent, demonstrated to the faith of men God's merciful removal of the supposed outward penalty of sin, namely, the banishment of souls after death to the under world, and led the way, as their forerunner, into heaven, this idea, which is not shocking to the moral sense nor plainly absurd to the moral reason, as the Augustinian dogma is, not only yields a more sharply defined, consistent, and satisfactory explanation of all the related language of the epistle, but is also which cannot be said of the other doctrine in harmony with the contemporary opinions of the Hebrews, and would be the natural and almost inevitable development from them and complement of them in the mind of a Pharisee, who, convinced of the death and ascension of the sinless Jesus, the appointed Messiah, had become a Christian.

In support of the last assertion, which is the only one that needs further proof, we submit the following considerations. In the first place, every one familiar with the eschatology of the Hebrews knows that at the time of Christ the belief prevailed that the sin of Adam was the cause of death among men. In the second place, it is equally well known that they believed the destination of souls upon leaving the body to be the under world. Therefore does it not follow by all the necessities of logic? they believed that sin was the cause of the descent of disembodied spirits to the dreary lower realm. In the third place, it is notorious and undoubted that the Jews of that age expected that, when the Messiah should appear, the dead of their nation, or at least a portion of them, would be raised from the under world and be reclothed with bodies, and would reign with him for a period on earth and then ascend to heaven. Now, what could be more natural than that a person holding this creed, who should be brought to believe that Jesus was the true Messiah and after his death had risen from among the dead into heaven, should immediately conclude that this was a pledge or illustration of the abrogation of the gloomy penalty of sin, the deliverance of souls from the subterranean prison, and their admission to the presence of God beyond the sky? We deem this an impregnable position. Every relevant text that we consider in its light additionally fortifies it by the striking manner in which such a conception fits, fills, and explains the words. To justify these interpretations, and to sustain particular features of the doctrine which they express, almost any amount of evidence may be summoned from the writings both of the most authoritative and of the simplest Fathers of the Church, beginning with Justin Martyr,23 philosopher of Neapolis, at the close of the apostolic age, and ending with John Hobart,24 Bishop of New York, in the early part of the nineteenth century. We refrain from adducing the throng of such authorities here, because they will be more appropriately brought forward in future chapters.

23 Dial. cum Tryph. cap. v. et cap. lxxx.24 State of the Departed.

The intelligent reader will observe that the essential point of difference distinguishing our exposition of the fundamental doctrine of the composition in review, on the one hand, from the Calvinistic interpretation of it, and, on the other hand, from the Unitarian explanation of it, is this. Calvinism says that Christ, by his death, his vicarious pains, appeased the wrath of God, satisfied the claims of justice, and purchased the salvation of souls from an agonizing and endless hell. Unitarianism says that Christ, by his teachings, spirit, life, and miracles, revealed the character of the Father, set an example for man, gave certainty to great truths, and exerted moral influences to regenerate men, redeem them from sin, and fit them for the blessed kingdom of immortality. We understand the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews really to say in subtraction from what the Calvinist, in addition to what the Unitarian, says that Christ, by his resurrection from the tyrannous realm of death, and ascent into the unbarred heaven, demonstrated the fact that God, in his sovereign grace, in his free and wondrous love, would forgive mankind their sins, remove the ancient penalty of transgression, no more dooming their disembodied spirits to the noiseless and everlasting gloom of the under world, but admitting them to his own presence, above the firmamental floor, where the beams of his chambers are laid, and where he reigneth forever, covered with light as with a garment.

Persian Doctrine of A Future Life

THE name of Zoroaster is connected, either as author or as reviser, with that remarkable system of rites and doctrines which constituted the religion of the ancient Iranians, and which yet finds adherents in the Ghebers of Persia and the Parsees of India. Pliny, following the affirmation of Aristotle, asserts that he flourished six thousand years before Plato. Moyle, Gibbon, Volney, Rhode, concur in throwing him back into this vast antiquity. Foucher, Holty, Heeren, Tychsen, Guizot, assign his birth to the beginning of the seventh century before Christ. Hyde, Prideaux, Du Perron, Kleuker, Herder, Klaproth, and others, bring him down to about a hundred and fifty years later. Meanwhile, several weighty names press the scale in favor of the hypothesis of two or three Zoroasters, living at separate epochs. So the learned men differ, and the genuine date in question cannot, at present at least, be decided. It is comparatively certain that, if he was the author of the work attributed to him, he must have flourished as early as the sixth century before Christ. The probabilities seem, upon the whole, that he lived four or five centuries earlier than that, even, "in the pre historic time," as Spiegel says. However, the settlement of the era of Zoroaster is not a necessary condition of discovering the era when the religion commonly traced to him was in full prevalence as the established faith of the Persian empire. The latter may be conclusively fixed without clearing up the former. And it is known, without disputation, that that religion whether it was primarily Persian, Median, Assyrian, or Chaldean was flourishing at Babylon in the maturity of its power in the time of the Hebrew prophets Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Daniel, twenty five hundred years ago.

The celebrated work on the religion of the ancient Medes and Persians by Dr. Hyde, published in 1700, must be followed with much caution and be taken with many qualifications. The author was biassed by unsound theories of the relation of the Hebrew theology to the Persian, and was, of course, ignorant of the most authoritative ancient documents afterwards brought to light. His work, therefore, though learned and valuable, considering the time when it was written, is vitiated by numerous mistakes and defects. In 1762, Anquetil du Perron, returning to France from protracted journeying and abode in the East, brought home, among the fruits of his researches, manuscripts purporting to be parts of the old Persian Bible composed or collected by Zoroaster. It was written in a language hitherto unknown to European scholars, one of the primitive dialects of Persia. This work, of which he soon published a French version at Paris was entitled by him the "Zend Avesta." It confirmed all that was previously known of the Zoroastrian religion, and, by its allusions, statements, and implications, threw great additional light upon the subject.

A furious controversy, stimulated by personal rivalries and national jealousy, immediately arose. Du Perron was denounced as an impostor or an ignoramus, and his publication stigmatized as a wretched forgery of his own, or a gross imposition palmed upon him by some lying pundit. Sir William Jones and John Richardson, both distinguished English Orientalists, and Meiners in Germany, were the chief impugners of the document in hand. Richardson obstinately went beyond his data, and did not live long enough to retract; but Sir William, upon an increase of information, changed his views, and regretted his first inconsiderate zeal and somewhat mistaken championship. The ablest defender of Du Perron was Kleuker, who translated the whole work from French into German, adding many corrections, new arguments, and researches of great ability. His work was printed at Riga, in seven quarto volumes, from 1777 to 1783. The progress and results of the whole discussion are well enough indicated in the various papers which the subject drew forth in the volumes of the "Asiatic Researches" and the numbers of the "Asiatic Journal." The conclusion was that, while Du Perron had indeed betrayed partial ignorance and crudity, and had committed some glaring errors, there was not the least ground for doubt that his asserted discovery was in every essential what it claimed to be. It is a sort of litany; a collection of prayers and of sacred dialogues held between Ormuzd and Zoroaster, from which the Persian system of theology may be inferred and constructed with some approach to completeness.

The assailants of the genuineness of the "Zend Avesta" were effectually silenced when, some thirty years later, Professor Rask, a well known Danish linguist, during his inquiries in the East, found other copies of it, and gave to the world such information and proofs as could not be suspected. He, discovering the close affinities of the Zend with Sanscrit, led the way to the most brilliant triumph yet achieved by comparative philology. Portions of the work in the original character were published in 1829, under the supervision of Burnouf at Paris and of Olshausen at Hamburg. The question of the genuineness of the dialect exhibited in these specimens, once so freely mooted, has been discussed, and definitively settled in the affirmative, by several eminent scholars, among whom may be mentioned Bopp, whose "Comparative Grammar of the Sanscrit, Zend, Greek, Latin, Lithuanian, Gothic, and German Languages" is an astonishing monument of erudition and toil. It is the conviction of Major Rawlinson that the Zoroastrian books of the Parsees were imported to Bombay from Persia in their present state in the seventh century of our era, but that they were written at least twelve centuries earlier.1

But the two scholars whose opinions upon any subject within this department of learning are now the most authoritative are Professor Spiegel of Erlangen, and Professor Westergaard of Copenhagen. Their investigations, still in progress, made with all the aids furnished by their predecessors, and also with the advantage of newly discovered materials and processes, are of course to be relied on in preference to the earlier, and in some respects necessarily cruder, researches. It appears that the proper Zoroastrian Scriptures namely, the Yasna, the Vispered, the Vendidad, the Yashts, the Nyaish, the Afrigans, the Gahs, the Sirozah, and a few other fragments were composed in an ancient Iranian dialect, which may as Professor

W. D. Whitney suggests in his very lucid and able article in vol. v. of the Journal of the American Oriental Society most fitly be called the Avestan dialect. (No other book in this dialect, we believe, is known to be in existence now.) It is difficult to say when these

1 Wilson, Parsi Religion Unfolded, p. 405.

documents were written; but in view of all the relevant information now possessed, including that drawn from the deciphered cuneiform inscriptions, the most probable date is about a thousand years before Christ. Professor R. Roth of Tubingen whose authority herein as an original investigator is perhaps hardly second to any other man's says the books of the Zoroastrian faith were written a considerable time before the rise of the Achamenian dynasty. He is convinced that the whole substantial contents of the Zend Avesta are many centuries older than the Christian era.2 Professor Muller of Oxford also holds the same opinion.3 And even those who set the date of the literary record a few centuries later, as Spiegel does, freely admit the great antiquity of the doctrines and usages then first committed to manuscript. In the fourth century before Christ, Alexander of Macedon overran the Persian empire. With the new rule new influences prevailed, and the old national faith and ritual fell into decay and neglect. Early in the third century of the Christian era, Ardeshir overthrew the Parthian dominion in Persia and established the Sassanian dynasty. One of his first acts was, stimulated doubtless by the surviving Magi and the old piety of the people, to reinaugurate the ancient religion. A fresh zeal of loyalty broke out, and all the prestige and vigor of the long suppressed worship were restored. The Zoroastrian Scriptures were now sought for, whether in manuscript or in the memories of the priests. It would seem that only remnants were found. The collection, such as it was, was in the Avestan dialect, which had grown partially obsolete and unintelligible. The authorities accordingly had a translation of it made in the speech of the time, Pehlevi. This translation most of which has reached us written in with the original, sentence after sentence forms the real Zend language, often confounded by the literary public with Avestan. The translation of the Avestan books, probably made under these circumstances as early as A. D. 350, is called the Huzvaresch. In regard to some of these particulars there are questions still under investigation, but upon which it is not worth our while to pause here. For example, Spiegel thinks the Zend identical with the Pehlevi of the fourth century; Westergaard believes it entirely distinct from Pehlevi, and in truth only a disguised mode of writing Parsee, the oldest form of the modern Persian language.

The source from which the fullest and clearest knowledge of the Zoroastrian faith, as it is now held by the Parsees, is drawn, is the Desatir and the Bundehesh. The former work is the unique vestige of an extinct dialect called the Mahabadian, accompanied by a Persian translation and commentary. It is impossible to ascertain the century when the Mahabadian text was written; but the translation into Persian was, most probably, made in the seventh century of the Christian era.4 Spiegel, in 1847, says there can be no doubt of the spuriousness of the Desatir; but he gives no reasons for the statement, and we do not know that it is based on any other arguments than those which, advanced by De Sacy, were refuted by Von Hammer. The Bundehesh is in the Pehlevi or Zend language, and was written, it is

2 Ueber die Heiligen Schriften der Arier. Jahrbucher fur Deutsche Theologie, 1857, band ii. ss. 146, 147.

3 Essay on the Veda and the Zend Avesta, p. 24. See also Bunsen's Christianity and Mankind, vol. iii. p. 114.

4 Baron von Hammer, in Heidelberger Jabrbucher der Literatur, 1823. Id. in Journal Asiatique, Juillet, 1833. Dabistan, Preliminary Discourse, pp. xix. lxv.

thought, about the seventh century, but was derived, it is claimed, from a more ancient work.5 The book entitled "Revelations of Ardai Viraf" exists in Pehlevi probably of the fourth century, according to Troyer,6 and is believed to have been originally written in the Avestan tongue, though this is extremely doubtful. It gives a detailed narrative of the scenery of heaven and hell, as seen by Ardai Viraf during a visit of a week which his soul leaving his body for that length of time paid to those regions. Many later and enlarged versions of this have appeared. One of them, dating from the sixteenth century, was translated into English by T. A. Pope and published in 1816. Sanscrit translations of several of the before named writings are also in existence. And several other comparatively recent works, scarcely needing mention here, although considered as somewhat authoritative by the modern followers of Zoroaster, are to be found in Guzeratee, the present dialect of the Indian Parsees. A full exposition of the Zoroastrian religion, with satisfactory proofs of its antiquity and documentary genuineness, is presented in the Preliminary Discourse and Notes to the Dabistan. This curious and entertaining work, a fund of strange and valuable lore, is an historico critical view of the principal religions of the world, especially of the Oriental sects, schools, and manners. It was composed in Persian, apparently by Mohsan Fani, about the year 1645. An English translation, with elaborate explanatory matter, by David Shea and Anthony Troyer, was published at London and at Paris in 1843.7

In these records there are obscurities, incongruities, and chasms, as might naturally be anticipated, admitting them to be strictly what they would pass for. These faults may be accounted for in several ways. First, in a rude stage of philosophical culture, incompleteness of theory, inconsistent conceptions in different parts of a system, are not unusual, but are rather to be expected, and are slow to become troublesome to its adherents. Secondly, distinct contemporary thinkers or sects may give expression to their various views in literary productions of the same date and possessing a balanced authority. Or, thirdly, the heterogeneous conceptions in some particulars met with in these scriptures may be a result of the fact that the collection contains writings of distinct ages, when the same problems had been differently approached and had given birth to opposing or divergent speculations. The later works of course cannot have the authority of the earlier in deciding questions of ancient belief: they are to be taken rather as commentaries, interpreting and carrying out in detail many points that lie only in obscure hints and allusions in the primary documents. But it is a significant fact that, in the generic germs of doctrine and custom, in the essential outlines of substance, in rhetorical imagery, in practical morals, the statements of all these books are alike: they only vary in subordinate matters and in degrees of fulness.

The charge has repeatedly been urged that the materials of the more recent of the Parsee Scriptures the Desatir and the Bundehesh were drawn from Christian and Mohammedan sources. No evidence of value for sustaining such assertions has been adduced. Under the circumstances, scarcely any motive for such an imposition appears. In view of the whole case,

5 Dabistan, vol. i. p. 226, note.

6 Ibid. p. 185, note.

7 Reviewed in Asiatic Journal, 1844, pp. 582-595.

the reverse supposition is rather to be credited. In the first place, we have ample evidence for the existence of the general Zoroastrian system long anterior to the rise of Christianity. The testimony of the classic authors to say nothing of the known antiquity of the language in which the system is preserved is demonstrative on this point. Secondly, the striking agreement in regard to fundamental doctrines, pervading spirit, and ritual forms between the accounts in the classics and those in the Avestan books, and of both these with the later writings and traditional practice of the Parsees, furnishes powerful presumption that the religion was a connected development, possessing the same essential features from the time of its national establishment. Thirdly, we have unquestionable proofs that, during the period from the Babylonish captivity to the advent of Christ, the Jews borrowed and adapted a great deal from the Persian theology, but no proof that the Persians took any thing from the Jewish theology. This is abundantly confessed by such scholars as Gesenius, Rosenmuller, Stuart, Lucke, De Wette, Neander; and it will hardly be challenged by any one who has investigated the subject. But the Jewish theology being thus impregnated with germs from the Persian faith, and being in a sense the historic mother of Christian theology, it is far more reasonable, in seeking the origin of dogmas common to Parsees and Christians, to trace them through the Pharisees to Zoroaster, than to imagine them suddenly foisted upon the former by forgery on the part of the latter at a late period. Fourthly, it is notorious that Mohammed, in forming his religion, made wholesale draughts upon previously existing faiths, that their adherents might more readily accept his teachings, finding them largely in unison with their own. It is altogether more likely, aside from historic evidence which we possess, that he drew from the tenets and imagery of the Ghebers, than that they, when subdued by his armies and persecuted by his rule from their native land, introduced new doctrines from the Koran into the ancestral creed which they so revered that neither exile nor death could make them abjure it. For, driven by those fierce proselytes, the victorious Arabs, to the mountains of Kirman and to the Indian coast, they clung with unconquerable tenacity to their religion, still scrupulously practising its rites, proudly mindful of the time when every village, from the shore of the Caspian Sea to the outlet of the Persian Gulf, had its splendid fire temple,

"And Iran like a sunflower turn'd Where'er the eye of Mithra burn'd."

We therefore see no reason for believing that important Christian or Mohammedan ideas have been interpolated into the old Zoroastrian religion. The influence has been in the other direction. Relying then, though with caution, on what Dr. Edward Roth says, that "the certainty of our possessing a correct knowledge of the leading ancient doctrines of the Persians is now beyond all question," we will try to exhibit so much of the system as is necessary for appreciating its doctrine of a future life.

In the deep background of the Magian theology looms, in mysterious obscurity, the belief in an infinite First Principle, Zeruana Akerana. According to most of the scholars who have investigated it, the meaning of this term is "Time without Bounds," or absolute duration. But Bohlen says it signifies the "Untreated Whole;" and Schlegel thinksit denotes the "Indivisible One." The conception seems to have been to the people mostly an unapplied abstraction, too vast and remote to become prominent in their speculation or influential in their faith. Spiegel, indeed, thinks the conception was derived from Babylon, and added to the system at a later period than the other doctrines. The beginning of vital theology, the source of actual ethics to the Zoroastrians, was in the idea of the two antagonist powers, Ormuzd and Ahriman, the first emanations of Zeruana, who divide between them in unresting strife the empire of the universe. The former is the Principle of Good, the perfection of intelligence, beneficence, and light, the source of all reflected excellence. The latter is the Principle of Evil, the contriver of misery and death, the king of darkness, the instigator of all wrong. With sublime beauty the ancient Persian said, "Light is the body of Ormuzd; Darkness is the body of Ahriman." There has been much dispute whether the Persian theology grew out of the idea of an essential and eternal dualism, or was based on the conception of a partial and temporary battle; in other words, whether Ahriman was originally and necessarily evil, or fell from a divine estate.

In the fragmentary documents which have reached us, the whole subject lies in confusion. It is scarcely possible to unravel the tangled mesh. Sometimes it seems to be taught that Ahriman was at first good, an angel of light who, through envy of his great compeer, sank from his primal purity, darkened into hatred, and became the rancorous enemy of truth and love. At other times he appears to be considered as the pure primordial essence of evil. The various views may have prevailed in different ages or in different schools. Upon the whole, however, we hold the opinion that the real Zoroastrian idea of Ahriman was moral and free, not physical and fatal. The whole basis of the universe was good; evil was an after perversion, a foreign interpolation, a battling mixture. First, the perfect Zeruana was once all in all: Ahriman, as well as Ormuzd, proceeded from him; and the inference that he was pure would seem to belong to the idea of his origin. Secondly, so far as the account of Satan given in the book of Job perhaps the earliest appearance of the Persian notion in Jewish literature warrants any inference or supposition at all, it would lead to the image of one who was originally a prince in heaven, and who must have fallen thence to become the builder and potentate of hell. Thirdly, that matter is not an essential core of evil, the utter antagonist of spirit, and that Ahriman is not evil by an intrinsic necessity, will appear from the two conceptions lying at the base and crown of the Persian system: that the creation, as it first came from the hands of Ormuzd, was perfectly good; and that finally the purified material world shall exist again unstained by a breath of evil, Ahriman himself becoming like Ormuzd. He is not, then, aboriginal and indestructible evil in substance. The conflict between Ormuzd and him is the temporary ethical struggle of light and darkness, not the internecine ontological war of spirit and matter. Roth says, "Ahriman was originally good: his fall was a determination of his will, not an inherent necessity of his nature." 8 Whatever other conceptions may be found, whatever inconsistencies or contradictions to this may appear, still, we believe the genuine Zoroastrian view was such as we have now stated. The opposite doctrine arose from the more abstruse lucubrations of a more modern time, and is Manichaan, not Zoroastrian.

8 Zoroastrische Glaubenslehre, ss. 397, 398.

Ormuzd created a resplendent and happy world. Ahriman instantly made deformity, impurity, and gloom, in opposition to it. All beauty, virtue, harmony, truth, blessedness, were the work of the former. All ugliness, vice, discord, falsehood, wretchedness, belonged to the latter. They grappled and mixed in a million hostile shapes. This universal battle is the ground of ethics, the clarion call to marshal out the hostile hosts of good and ill; and all other war is but a result and a symbol of it. The strife thus indicated between a Deity and a Devil, both subordinate to the unmoved ETERNAL, was the Persian solution of the problem of evil, their answer to the staggering question, why pleasure and pain, benevolence and malignity, are so conflictingly mingled in the works of nature and in the soul of man. In the long struggle that ensued, Ormuzd created multitudes of co operant angels to assail his foe, stocking the clean empire of Light with celestial allies of his holy banner, who hang from heaven in great numbers, ready at the prayer of the righteous man to hie to his aid and work him a thousandfold good. Ahriman, likewise, created an equal number of assistant demons, peopling the filthy domain of Darkness with counterbalancing swarms of infernal followers of his pirate flag, who lurk at the summit of hell, watching to snatch every opportunity to ply their vocation of sin and ruin. There are such hosts of these invisible antagonists sown abroad, and incessantly active, that every star is crowded and all space teems with them. Each man has a good and a bad angel, a ferver and a dev, who are endeavoring in every manner to acquire control over his conduct and possession of his soul.

The Persians curiously personified the source of organic life in the world under the emblem of a primeval bull. In this symbolic beast were packed the seeds and germs of all the creatures afterwards to people the earth. Ahriman, to ruin the creation of which this animal was the life medium, sought to kill him. He set upon him two of his devs, who are called "adepts of death." They stung him in the breast, and plagued him until he died of rage. But, as he was dying, from his right shoulder sprang the androgynal Kaiomorts, who was the stock root of humanity. His body was made from fire, air, water, and earth, to which Ormuzd added an immortal soul, and bathed him with an elixir which rendered him fair and glittering as a youth of fifteen, and would have preserved him so perennially had it not been for the assaults of the Evil One.9 Ahriman, the enemy of all life, determined to slay him, and at last accomplished his object; but, as Kaiomorts fell, from his seed, through the power of Ormuzd, originated Meschia and Meschiane, male and female, the first human pair, from whom all our race have descended. They would never have died,10 but Ahriman, in the guise of a serpent, seduced them, and they sinned and fell. This account is partly drawn from that later treatise, the Bundehesh, whose mythological cosmogony reminds us of the Scandinavian Ymer. But we conceive it to be strictly reliable as a representation of the Zoroastrian faith in its essential doctrines; for the earlier documents, the Yasna, the Yeshts, and the Vendidad, contain the same things in obscure and undeveloped expressions. They, too, make repeated mention of the mysterious bull, and of Kaiomorts.11 They invariably represent death as resulting

9 Kleuker, Zend Avesta, band i. anhang 1, s. 263.

10 Ibid. band i. s. 27.

11 Yasna, 24th IIa.

from the hostility of Ahriman. The earliest Avestan account of the earthly condition of men describes them as living in a garden which Yima or Jemschid had enclosed at the command of Ormuzd.12 During the golden age of his reign they were free from heat and cold, sickness and death. "In the garden which Yima made they led a most beautiful life, and they bore none of the marks which Ahriman has since made upon men." But Ahriman's envy and hatred knew no rest until he and his devs had, by their wiles, broken into this paradise, betrayed Yima and his people into falsehood, and so, by introducing corruption into their hearts, put an end to their glorious earthly immortality. This view is set forth in the opening fargards of the Vendidad; and it has been clearly illustrated in an elaborate contribution upon the "Old Iranian Mythology" by Professor Westergaard.13 Death, like all other evils, was an after effect, thrust into the purely good creation of Ormuzd by the cunning malice of Ahriman. The Vendidad, at its commencement, recounts the various products of Ormuzd's beneficent power, and adds, after each particular, "Thereupon Ahriman, who is full of death, made an opposition to the same."

According to the Zoroastrian modes of thought, what would have been the fate of man had Ahriman not existed or not interfered? Plainly, mankind would have lived on forever in innocence and joy. They would have been blessed with all placid delights, exempt from hate, sickness, pain, and every other ill; and, when the earth was full of them, Ormuzd would have taken his sinless subjects to his own realm of light on high. But when they forsook the true service of Ormuzd, falling into deceit and defilement, they became subjects of Ahriman; and he would inflict on them, as the creatures of his hated rival, all the calamities in his power, dissolve the masterly workmanship of their bodies in death, and then take their souls as prisoners into his own dark abode. "Had Meschia continued to bring meet praises, it would have happened that when the time of man, created pure, had come, his soul, created pure and immortal, would immediately have gone to the seat of bliss."14 "Heaven was destined for man upon condition that he was humble of heart, obedient to the law, and pure in thought, word, and deed." But "by believing the lies of Ahriman they became sinners, and their souls must remain in his nether kingdom until the resurrection of their bodies."15 Ahriman's triumph thus culminates in the death of man and that banishment of the disembodied soul into hell which takes the place of its originally intended reception into heaven.

The law of Ormuzd, revealed through Zoroaster, furnishes to all who faithfully observe it in purity of thought, speech, and action, "when body and soul have separated, attainment of paradise in the next world,"16 while the neglecters of it "will pass into the dwelling of the devs,"17 "after death will have no part in paradise, but will occupy the place of darkness

12 Die Sage von Dschemschid. Von Professor R. Roth. In Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgeulandischen Gesellschaft, band iv. ss. 417-431.

13 Weber, Indische Studien, band iii. 8. 411.

14 Yesht LXXXVII. Kleuker, band ii. sect. 211.

15 Bundehesh, ch. xv.

16 Avesta die Heiligen Schriften der Parsen. Von Dr. F. Spiegel, band i. s, 171.

17 Ibid. s. 158.

destined for the wicked."18 The third day after death, the soul advances upon "the way created by Ormuzd for good and bad," to be examined as to its conduct. The pure soul passes up from this evanescent world, over the bridge Chinevad, to the world of Ormuzd, and joins the angels. The sinful soul is bound and led over the way made for the godless, and finds its place at the bottom of gloomy hell.19 An Avestan fragment 20 and the Viraf Nameh give the same account, only with more picturesque fulness. On the soaring bridge the soul meets Rashne rast, the angel of justice, who tries those that present themselves before him. If the merits prevail, a figure of dazzling substance, radiating glory and fragrance, advances and accosts the justified soul, saying, "I am thy good angel: I was pure at the first, but thy good deeds have made me purer;" and the happy one is straightway led to Paradise. But when the vices outweigh the virtues, a dark and frightful image, featured with ugliness and exhaling a noisome smell, meets the condemned soul, and cries, "I am thy evil spirit: bad myself, thy crimes have made me worse." Then the culprit staggers on his uncertain foothold, is hurled from the dizzy causeway, and precipitated into the gulf which yawns horribly below. A sufficient reason for believing these last details no late and foreign interpolation, is that the Vendidad itself contains all that is essential in them, Garotman, the heaven of Ormuzd, open to the pure, Dutsakh, the abode of devs, ready for the wicked, Chinevad, the bridge of ordeal, upon which all must enter.21

Some authors have claimed that the ancient disciples of Zoroaster believed in a purifying, intermediate state for the dead. Passages stating such a doctrine are found in the Yeshts, Sades, and in later Parsee works. But whether the translations we now possess of these passages are accurate, and whether the passages themselves are authoritative to establish the ancient prevalence of such a belief, we have not yet the means for deciding. There was a yearly solemnity, called the "Festival for the Dead," still observed by the Parsees, held at the season when it was thought that that portion of the sinful departed who had ended their penance were raised from Dutsakh to earth, from earth to Garotman. Du Perron says that this took place only during the last five days of the year, when the souls of all the deceased sinners who were undergoing punishment had permission to leave their confinement and visit their relatives; after which, those not yet purified were to return, but those for whom a sufficient atonement had been made were to proceed to Paradise. For proof that this doctrine was held, reference is made to the following passage, with others: "During these five days Ormuzd empties hell. The imprisoned souls shall be freed from Ahriman's plagues when they pay penance and are ashamed of their sins; and they shall receive a heavenly nature; the meritorious deeds of themselves and of their families cause this liberation: all the rest must return to Dutsakh."22 Rhode thinks this was a part of the old Persian faith, and the source of

18 Ibid. s. 127.

19 Ibid. ss. 248-252. Vendidad, Fargard XIX.

20 Kleuker, band i. ss. xxxi. xxxv.

21 Spiegel, Vendidad, ss. 207, 229, 233, 250.

22 Kleuker, band ii. s. 173.

the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory.23 But, whether so or not, it is certain that the Zoroastrians regarded the whole residence of the departed souls in hell as temporary.

The duration of the present order of the world was fixed at twelve thousand years, divided into four equal epochs. In the first three thousand years, Ormuzd creates and reigns triumphantly over his empire. Through the next cycle, Ahriman is constructing and carrying on his hostile works. The third epoch is occupied with a drawn battle between the upper and lower kings and their adherents. During the fourth period, Ahriman is to be victorious, and a state of things inconceivably dreadful is to prevail. The brightness of all clear things will be shrouded, the happiness of all joyful creatures be destroyed, innocence disappear, religion be scoffed from the world, and crime, horror, and war be rampant. Famine will spread, pests and plagues stalk over the earth, and showers of black rain fall. But at last Ormuzd will rise in his might and put an end to these awful scenes. He will send on earth a savior. Sosiosch, to deliver mankind, to wind up the final period of time, and to bring the arch enemy to judgment. At the sound of the voice of Sosiosch the dead will come forth. Good, bad, indifferent, all alike will rise, each in his order. Kaiomorts, the original single ancestor of men, will be the firstling. Next, Meschia and Meschiane, the primal parent pair, will appear. And then the whole multitudinous family of mankind will throng up. The genii of the elements will render up the sacred materials intrusted to them, and rebuild the decomposed bodies. Each soul will recognise, and hasten to reoccupy, its old tenement of flesh, now renewed, improved, immortalized. Former acquaintances will then know each other. "Behold, my father! my mother! my brother! my wife! they shall exclaim." 24

In this exposition we have following the guidance of Du Perron, Foucher, Kleuker, J. G. Muller, and other early scholars in this field attributed the doctrine of a general and bodily resurrection of the dead to the ancient Zoroastrians. The subsequent researches of Burnouf, Roth, and others, have shown that several, at least, of the passages which Anquetil supposed to teach such a doctrine were erroneously translated by him, and do not really contain it. And recently the ground has been often assumed that the doctrine of the resurrection does not belong to the Avesta, but is a more modern dogma, derived by the Parsees from the Jews or the Christians, and only forced upon the old text by misinterpretation through the Pehlevi version and the Parsee commentary. A question of so grave importance demands careful examination. In the absence of that reliable translation of the entire original documents, and that thorough elaboration of all the extant materials, which we are awaiting from the hands of Professor Spiegel, whose second volume has long been due, and Professor Westergaard, whose second and third volumes are eagerly looked for, we must make the best use of the resources actually available, and then leave the point in such plausible light as existing testimony and fair reasoning can throw upon it. In the first place, it should be observed that, admitting the doctrine to be nowhere mentioned in the Avesta, still, it does not follow that the belief was not prevalent when the

23 Rhode, Heilige Sage des Zendvolks, s. 410.

24 Bundehesh, ch. xxxi.

Avesta was written. We know that the Christians of the first two centuries believed a great many things of which there is no statement in the New Testament. Spiegel holds that the doctrine in debate is not in the Avesta, the text of which in its present form he thinks was written after the time of Alexander.25 But he confesses that the resurrection theory was in existence long before that time.26 Now, if the Avesta, committed to writing three hundred years before Christ, at a time when the doctrine of the resurrection is known to have been believed, contains no reference to it, the same relation of facts may just as well have existed if we date the record seven centuries earlier. We possess only a small and broken portion of the original Zoroastrian Scriptures; as Roth says, "songs, invocations, prayers, snatches of traditions, parts of a code, the shattered fragments of a once stately building." If we could recover the complete documents in their earliest condition, it might appear that the now lost parts contained the doctrine of the general resurrection fully formed. We have many explicit references to many ancient Zoroastrian books no longer in existence. For example, the Parsees have a very early account that the Avesta at first consisted of twenty one Nosks. Of these but one has been preserved complete, and small parts of three or four others. The rest are utterly wanting. The fifth Nosk, whereof not any portion remains to us, was called the Do az ah Hamast. It contained thirty two chapters, treating, among other things, "of the upper and nether world, of the resurrection, of the bridge Chinevad, and of the fate after death." 27 If this evidence be true, and we know of no reason for not crediting it, it is perfectly decisive. But, at all events, the absence from the extant parts of the Zend Avesta of the doctrine under examination would be no proof that that doctrine was not received when those documents were penned.

Secondly, we have the unequivocal assertion of Theopompus, in the fourth century before Christ, that the Magi taught the doctrine of a general resurrection.28 "At the appointed epoch Ahriman shall be subdued," and "men shall live again and shall be immortal." And Diogenes adds, "Eudemus of Rhodes affirms the same things." Aristotle calls Ormuzd Zeus, and Ahriman Haides, the Greek names respectively of the lord of the starry Olympians above, and the monarch of the Stygian ghosts beneath. Another form also in which the early Greek authors betray their acquaintance with the Persian conception of a conflict between Ormuzd and Ahriman is in the idea expressed by Xenophon in his Cyropadia, in the dialogue between Araspes and Cyrus of two souls in man, one a brilliant efflux of good, the other a dusky emanation of evil, each bearing the likeness of its parent.29 Since we know from Theopompus that certain conceptions, illustrated in the Bundehesh and not contained in the fragmentary Avestan books which have reached us, were actually received Zoroastrian

25 Studien uber das Zend Avesta, in Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft, 1855, band ix. s. 192.

26 Spiegel, Avesta, band i. s. 16.

27 Dabistan, vol. i. pp. 272-274.

28 Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Philosophers, Introduction, sect. vi. Plutarch, concerning Isis and Osiris.

29 Lib. vi. cap. i. sect. 41.

tenets four centuries before Christ, we are strongly supported in giving credence to the doctrinal statements of that book as affording, in spite of its lateness, a correct epitome of the old Persian theology.

Thirdly, we are still further warranted in admitting the antiquity of the Zoroastrian system as including the resurrection theory, when we consider the internal harmony and organic connection of parts in it; how the doctrines all fit together, and imply each other, and could scarcely have existed apart. Men were the creatures of Ormuzd. They should have lived immortally under his favor and in his realm. But Ahriman, by treachery, obtained possession of a large portion of them. Now, when, at the end of the fourth period into which the world course was divided by the Magian theory, as Theopompus testifies, Ormuzd overcomes this arch adversary, will he not rescue his own unfortunate creatures from the realm of darkness in which they have been imprisoned? When a king storms an enemy's castle, he delivers from the dungeons his own soldiers who were taken captives in a former defeat. The expectation of a great prophet, Sosiosch, to come and vanquish Ahriman and his swarms, unquestionably appears in the Avesta itself.30 With this notion, in inseparable union, the Parsee tradition, running continuously back, as is claimed, to a very remote time, joins the doctrine of a general resurrection; a doctrine literally stated in the Vendidad,31 and in many other places in the Avesta,32 where it has not yet been shown to be an interpolation, but only supposed so by very questionable constructive inferences. The consent of intrinsic adjustment and of historic evidence would, therefore, lead to the conclusion that this was an old Zoroastrian dogma. In disproof of this conclusion we believe there is no direct positive evidence whatever, and no inferential argument cogent enough to produce conviction.

There are sufficient reasons for the belief that the doctrine of a resurrection was quite early adopted from the Persians by the Jews, not borrowed at a much later time from the Jews by the Parsees. The conception of Ahriman, the evil serpent, bearing death, (die Schlange Angramainyus der voll Tod ist,) is interwrought from the first throughout the Zoroastrian scheme. In the Hebrew records, on the contrary, such an idea appears but incidentally, briefly, rarely, and only in the later books. The account of the introduction of sin and death by the serpent in the garden of Eden dates from a time subsequent to the commencement of the Captivity. Von Bohlen, in his Introduction to the Book of Genesis, says the narrative was drawn from the Zend Avesta. Rosenmuller, in his commentary on the passage, says the narrator had in view the Zoroastrian notions of the serpent Ahriman and his deeds. Dr. Martin Haug an acute and learned writer, whose opinion is entitled to great weight, as he is the freshest scholar acquainted with this whole field in the light of all that others have done thinks it certain that Zoroaster lived in a remote antiquity, from fifteen hundred to two thousand years before Christ. He says that Judaism after the exile and, through Judaism, Christianity afterwards received an important influence from Zoroastrianism,

30 Spiegel, Avesta, band i. ss. 16, 244.

31 Fargard XVIII, Spiegel's Uebersetzung, s. 236.

32 Kleuker, band ii. ss. 123, 124, 164.

an influence which, in regard to the doctrine of angels, Satan, and the resurrection of the dead, cannot be mistaken.33 The Hebrew theology had no demonology, no Satan, until after the residence at Babylon. This is admitted. Well, is not the resurrection a pendant to the doctrine of Satan? Without the idea of a Satan there would be no idea of a retributive banishment of souls into hell, and of course no occasion for a vindicating restoration of them thence to their former or a superior state.

On this point the theory of Rawlinson is very important. He argues, with various proofs, that the Dualistic doctrine was a heresy which broke out very early among the primitive Aryans, who then were the single ancestry of the subsequent Iranians and Indians. This heresy was forcibly suppressed. Its adherents, driven out of India, went to Persia, and, after severe conflicts and final admixture with the Magians, there established their faith.34 The sole passage in the Old Testament teaching the resurrection is in the so called Book of Daniel, a book full of Chaldean and Persian allusions, written less than two centuries before Christ, long after we know it was a received Zoroastrian tenet, and long after the Hebrews had been exposed to the whole tide and atmosphere of the triumphant Persian power. The unchangeable tenacity of the Medes and Persians is a proverb. How often the Hebrew people lapsed into idolatry, accepting Pagan gods, doctrines, and ritual, is notorious. And, in particular, how completely subject they were to Persian influence appears clearly in large parts of the Biblical history, especially in the Books of Esther and Ezekiel. The origin of the term Beelzebub, too, in the New Testament, is plain. To say that the Persians derived the doctrine of the resurrection from the Jews seems to us as arbitrary as it would be to affirm that they also borrowed from them the custom, mentioned by Ezekiel, of weeping for Tammuz in the gates of the temple.

In view of the whole case as it stands, until further researches either strengthen it or put a different aspect upon it, we feel forced to think that the doctrine of a general resurrection was a component element in the ancient Avestan religion. A further question of considerable interest arises as to the nature of this resurrection, whether it was conceived as physical or as spiritual. We have no data to furnish a determinate answer. Plutarch quotes from Theopompus the opinion of the Magi, that when, at the subdual of Ahriman, men are restored to life, "they will need no nourishment and cast no shadow." It would appear, then, that they must be spirits. The inference is not reliable; for the idea may be that all causes of decay will be removed, so that no food will be necessary to supply the wasting processes which no longer exist; and that the entire creation will be so full of light that a shadow will be impossible. It might be thought that the familiar Persian conception of angels, both good and evil, fervers and devs, and the reception of departed souls into their company, with Ormuzd in Garotman, or with Ahriman in Dutsakh, would exclude the belief in a future bodily resurrection. But Christians and Mohammedans at this day believe in immaterial angels and devils, and in the immediate entrance of disembodied souls upon reward or

33 Die Lehre Zoroasters nach den alten Liedern des Zendavesta. Zeitschrift der Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft, band ix. ss. 286, 683-692.

34 Rawlinson's Herodotus, vol. i. pp. 426-431.

punishment in their society, and still believe in their final return to the earth, and in a restoration to them of their former tabernacles of flesh. Discordant, incoherent, as the two beliefs may be, if their coexistence is a fact with cultivated and reasonable people now, much more was it possible with an undisciplined and credulous populace three thousand years in the past. Again, it has been argued that the indignity with which the ancient Persians treated the dead body, refusing to bury it or to burn it, lest the earth or the fire should be polluted, is incompatible with the supposition that they expected a resurrection of the flesh. In the first place, it is difficult to reason safely to any dogmatic conclusions from the funeral customs of a people. These usages are so much a matter of capricious priestly ritual, ancestral tradition, unreasoning instinct, blind or morbid superstition, that any consistent doctrinal construction is not fairly to be put upon them. Secondly, the Zoroastrians did not express scorn or loathing for the corpse by their manner of disposing of it. The greatest pains were taken to keep it from disgusting decay, by placing it in "the driest, purest, openest place," upon a summit where fresh winds blew, and where certain beasts and birds, accounted most sacred, might eat the corruptible portion: then the clean bones were carefully buried. The dead body had yielded to the hostile working of Ahriman, and become his possession. The priests bore it out on a bed or a carpet, and exposed it to the light of the sun. The demon was thus exorcised; and the body became further purified in being eaten by the sacred animals, and no putrescence was left to contaminate earth, water, or fire.35 Furthermore, it is to be noticed that the modern Parsees dispose of their dead in exactly the same manner depicted in the earliest accounts; yet they zealously hold to a literal resurrection of the body. If the giving of the flesh to the dog and the vulture in their case exists with this belief, it may have done so with their ancestors before Nebuchadnezzar swept the Jews to Babylon. Finally, it is quite reasonable to conclude that the old Persian doctrine of a resurrection did include the physical body, when we recollect that in the Zoroastrian scheme of thought there is no hostility to matter or to earthly life, but all is regarded as pure and good except so far as the serpent Ahriman has introduced evil. The expulsion of this evil with his ultimate overthrow, the restoration of all as it was at first, in purity, gladness, and eternal life, would be the obvious and consistent carrying out of the system. Hatred of earthly life, contempt for the flesh, the notion of an essential and irreconcilable warfare of soul against body, are Brahmanic and Manichaan, not Zoroastrian. Still, the ground plan and style of thought may not have been consistently adhered to. The expectation that the very same body would be restored was known to the Jews a century or two before Christ. One of the martyrs whose history is told in the Second Book of Maccabees, in the agonies of death plucked out his own bowels, and called on the Lord to restore them to him again at the resurrection. Considering the notion of a resurrection of the body as a sensuous burden on the idea of a resurrection of the soul, it may have been a later development originating with the Jews. But it seems to us decidedly more probable that the Magi held it as a part of their creed before they came in contact with the children of Israel. Such an opinion may be modestly held until further information is

35 Spiegel, Avesta, ss. 82, 104, 109, 111, 122.

afforded 36 or some new and fatal objection brought.

After this resurrection a thorough separation will be made of the good from the bad. "Father shall be divided from child, sister from brother, friend from friend. The innocent one shall weep over the guilty one, the guilty one shall weep for himself. Of two sisters one shall be pure, one corrupt: they shall be treated according to their deeds." 37 Those who have not, in the intermediate state, fully expiated their sins, will, in sight of the whole creation, be remanded to the pit of punishment. But the author of evil shall not exult over them forever. Their prison house will soon be thrown open. The pangs of three terrible days and nights, equal to the agonies of nine thousand years, will purify all, even the worst of the demons. The anguished cry of the damned, as they writhe in the lurid caldron of torture, rising to heaven, will find pity in the soul of Ormuzd, and he will release them from their sufferings. A blazing star, the comet Gurtzscher, will fall upon the earth. In the heat of its conflagration, great and small mountains will melt and flow together as liquid metal. Through this glowing flood all human kind must pass. To the righteous it will prove as a pleasant bath, of the temperature of milk; but on the wicked the flame will inflict terrific pain. Ahriman will run up and down Chinevad in the perplexities of anguish and despair. The earth wide stream of fire, flowing on, will cleanse every spot and every thing. Even the loathsome realm of darkness and torment shall be burnished and made a part of the all inclusive Paradise. Ahriman himself, reclaimed to virtue, replenished with primal light, abjuring the memories of his envious ways, and furling thenceforth the sable standard of his rebellion, shall become a ministering spirit of the Most High, and, together with Ormuzd, chant the praises of Time without Bounds. All darkness, falsehood, suffering, shall flee utterly away, and the whole universe be filled by the illumination of good spirits blessed with fruitions of eternal delight. In regard to the fate of man,

Such are the parables Zartushi address'd To Iran's faith, in the ancient Zend Avest.

36 Windischmann has now (1863) fully proved this, in his Zoroastrische Studien. Spiegel frankly avows it: Avesta, band iii., einleitung, s. lxxv.

37 Rhode, Heilige Sage des Zendvolks, s. 467.

MORALITY OF THE DOCTRINE OF A FUTURE LIFE. IN discussing the ethics of the doctrine of a future life a subject here amazingly neglected, there more amazingly maltreated, and nowhere, within our knowledge, truly analyzed and exhibited1 it is important that the theme be precisely defined and the debate kept strictly to the lines. Let it be distinctly understood, therefore, that the question to be handled is not, "Whether there ought to be a future life or not," nor, "Whether there is a future life or not." The question is, "What difference should it make to us whether we admit or deny the fact of a future life?" If we believe that we are to pass through death into an immortal existence, what inferences pertaining to the present are right, fully to be drawn from the supposition? If, on the other hand, we think there is nothing for us after the present, what are the logical consequences of that faith in regard to our aims and rules of conduct in this world?

Suppose a man who has always imagined that death is utter annihilation should in some way suddenly acquire knowledge that an endless existence immediately succeeds the termination of this: what would be the legitimate instructions of his new information? Before we can fairly answer this inquiry, we need to know what relations connect the two states of existence. A knowledge of the law and method and means of man's destiny is more important for his guidance than the mere ascertainment of its duration. With reference to the query before us, four hypotheses are conceivable. If, in the first place, there be no connection whatever except that of temporal sequence between the present life and the future, then, so far as duty is concerned, the expectation of a world to come yields not the slightest practical application for the experience that now is. It can only be a source of comfort or of terror; and that will be accordingly as it is conceived under the aspect of benignity or of vengeance. If, secondly, the character of the future life depend on conditions to be fulfilled here, but those conditions be not within our control, then, again, no inferences of immediate duty can be drawn from the apprehended hereafter. Being quasi actors in a scene prearranged and with a plot predetermined, we can no more be capable of any obligation or choice, in regard to the end, than puppets which some unseen Harlequin moves by the terrible wires of primitive decree or transmitted depravity towards the genial or the tragic crisis. If the soul's fate there is to be heaven or hell according to the part enacted here, it must have free will and a fair opportunity to work the unmarred problem safely out. Otherwise the future life is reduced, as far as it affects us here, to a mere source of complacency or of horror as it respectively touches the elect and the reprobate.

Thirdly, it may be conceived that the future life is a state of everlasting reward and punishment unchangeably decided by the way in which the probationary period allotted on

1 The only direct treatise on the subject known to us is Tilemann's Kritik der Unsterblichkeitslehre in Ansehung des Sittengesetzes, published in 1789. And this we have not seen.

earth is passed through. Here are men, for a brief time, free to act thus or otherwise. Do thus, and the endless bliss of heaven is won. Do otherwise, and the endless agony of hell is incurred. The plain rule of action yielded by this doctrine is, Sacrifice all other things to the one thing needful. The present life is in itself a worthless instant. The future life is an inexhaustible eternity. And yet this infinite wealth of glory or woe depends on how you act during that poor moment. Therefore you have nothing to do while on earth but to seek the salvation of your soul. To waste a single pulse beat on any thing else is the very madness of folly. To find out how to escape hell and secure heaven, and then to improve the means, this should absolutely absorb every energy and every thought and every desire of every moment. This world is a bridge of straw over the roaring gulf of eternal fire. Is there leisure for sport and business, or room for science and literature, or mood for pleasures and amenities? No: to get ourselves and our friends into the magic car of salvation, which will waft us up from the ravenous crests of the brimstone lake packed with visages of anguish, to bind around our souls the floating cord of redemption, which will draw us up to heaven, this should intensely engage every faculty. Nothing else can be admitted save by oversight of the awful facts. For is it not one flexible instant of opportunity, and then an adamantine immortality of doom? That doctrine of a future life which makes eternal unalterable happiness or misery depend on the fleeting probation allowed here yields but one practical moral; and that it pronounces with imminent urgency and perfect distinctness. The only true duty, the only real use, of this life is to secure the forensic salvation of the soul by improvement of the appointed means. Suspended by such a hair of frailty, for one breathless moment, on such a razor edged contingence, an entrancing sea of blessedness above, a horrible abyss of torture beneath, such should be the all concentrating anxiety to secure safety that there would be neither time nor taste for any thing else. Every object should seem an altar drenched with sacrificial blood, every sound a knell laden with dolorous omen, every look a propitiatory confession, every breath a pleading prayer. From so single and preternatural a tension of the believer's faculties nothing could allow an instant's cessation except a temporary forgetting or blinking of the awful scene and the immeasurable hazard. Such would be a logical application to life of the genuine morals of the doctrine under consideration. But the doctrine itself is to be rejected as false on many grounds. It is deduced from Scripture by a technical and unsound interpretation. It is unjust and cruel, irreconcilable with the righteousness or the goodness of God. It is unreasonable, opposed to the analogies of nature and to the experience of man. It is wholly impossible to carry it out consistently in the practice of life. If it were thoroughly credited and acted upon, all the business of the world would cease, and the human race would soon die out.

There remains one other view of the relationship of a future life with the present. And it seems to be the true view. The same Creator presiding, the same laws prevailing, over infinitude and eternity that now rule over time and earth, our immortality cannot reasonably be imagined either a moment of free action and an eternity of fixed consequences, or a series of separate fragments patched into a parti colored experience with blanks of death between the patterns of life. It must be conceived as one endless existence in linear connection of cause and effect developing in progressive phases under varying conditions of motive and scenery. With what we are at death we live on into the next life. In every epoch and world of our destiny our happiness depends on the possession of a harmoniously working soul harmoniously related with its environment. Each stage and state of our eternal existence has its peculiarities of duty and privilege. In this one our proper work is to improve the opportunities, discharge the tasks, enjoy the blessings, belonging here. We are to do the same in the next one when we arrive in that. All the wealth of wisdom, virtue, strength, and harmony we acquire in our present life is the vantage ground and capital wherewith we start in the succeeding life. Therefore the true preparation for the future is to fit ourselves to enter it under the most favorable auspices, by accumulating in our souls all the spiritual treasures afforded by the present. In other words, the truest aim we can set before ourselves during our existence on earth is to make it yield the greatest possible results of the noblest experience. The life hereafter is the elevated and complementary continuation of the life here; and certainly the directest way to ameliorate the continuation is to improve the commencement.

But, it may be said, according to this representation, the fact of a future life makes no difference in regard to our duty now; for if the grave swallows all, still, it is our duty and our interest to make the best and the most of our life in the world while it lasts. True; and really that very consideration is a strong proof of the correctness of the view in question. It corresponds with the other arrangements of God. He makes every thing its own end, complete in itself, at the same time that it subserves some further end and enters into some higher unity. He is no mere Teleologist, hobbling towards his conclusions on a pair of decayed logic crutches,2 but an infinite Artist, whose means and ends are consentaneous in the timeless and spaceless spontaneity and perfection of his play. If the tomb is our total goal, our genuine aim in this existence is to win during its course an experience the largest in quantity and the best in quality. On the other hand, if another life follows this, our wisdom is just the same; because that experience alone, with the favor of God, can constitute our fitness and stock to enter on the future. And yet between the two cases there is this immense difference, not indeed in duty, but in endowment, that in the latter instance we work out our allotted destiny here, in a broader illumination, with grander incentives, and with vaster consolations. A future life, then, really imposes no new duty upon the present, alters no fundamental ingredient in the present, takes away none of the charms and claims of the present, but merely sheds an additional radiance upon the shaded lights already shining here, infuses an additional motive into the stimulants already animating our purposes, distills an additional balm into the comforts which already assuage our sorrows amidst an evanescent scene. The belief that we are to live hereafter in a compensating world explains to us many a sad mystery, strengthens us for many an oppressive burden, consoles us in many a sharp grief. Else we should oftener go mad in the baffling whirl of problems, oftener obey the baser voice, oftener yield to despair. These three are the moral uses, in the present life, of the

2 "Seht, an der morschen Syllogismenkrucke Hinkt Gott in Seine Welt."Lenau's Satire auf einen Professor philosophia.

doctrine of a future life. Outside of these three considerations the doctrine has no ethical meaning for human observance here.

It will be seen, according to the foregoing representation, that the expectation of a future life, instead of being harmful to the interests and attractions of the present, simply casts a cheering and magnifying light upon them. It does not depreciate the realities or nullify the obligations now upon us, but emphasizes them, flinging their lights and shades forward through a mightier vista. Consequently there is no reason for assailing the idea of another life in behalf of the interests of this. Such an opposition between the two states is entirely sophistical, resulting from a profound misinterpretation of the truemoral relations connecting them.

The belief in immortality has been mistakenly attacked, not merely as hostile to our welfare on earth, but likewise as immoral in itself, springing from essential selfishness, and in turn nourishing selfishness and fatally tainting every thing with that central vice. To desire to live everlastingly as an identical individual, it has been said, is the ecstasy and culmination of avaricious conceitedness. Man, the vain egotist, dives out of sight in God to fish up the pearl of his darling self. He makes his poor individuality the measure of all things, his selfish desire the law of endless being. Such a rampant proclamation of self will and enthronement of pure egotism, flying in the face of the solemn and all submerging order of the universe, is the very essence and climax of immorality and irreligiousness. To this assault on the morality of the belief in a future life, whether made in the devout tones of magnanimous sincerity, as by the sublime Schleiermacher, or with the dishonest trickiness of a vulgar declaimer for the rehabilitation of the senses, as by some who might be named, several fair replies may be made. In the first place, the objection begs the question, by assuming that the doctrine is a falsehood, and that its disciples wilfully set up their private wishes against the public truth. Such tremendous postulates cannot be granted. It is seizing the victory before the battle, grasping the conclusion without establishing the premises. For, if there be a future life provided by the Creator, it cannot be sinful or selfish in us to trust in it, to accept it with humble gratitude, and to prepare our souls for it. That, instead of being rebellious arrogance or overweening selfishness, would simply be conforming our thoughts and plans, our desires and labors, to the Divine arrangements. That would be both morality and piety. When one clings by will to a doctrine known to be a falsehood, obstinately suppressing reason to affirm it as a truth, and, in obedience to his personal whims, trying to force all things into conformity with it, he does act as a selfish egotist in full violation of the moral law and the spirit of religion. But a future life we believe to be a fact; and therefore we are, in every respect, justified in gladly expecting it and consecratedly living with reference to it.

Furthermore, admitting it to be an open question, neither proved nor disproved, but poised in equal uncertainty, still, it is not immoral nor undevout deeply to desire and fondly to hope a personal immortality. "The aim of religion," it has been said, "is the annihilation of one's own individuality, the living in the All, the becoming one with the universe." But in such a definition altogether too much is assumed. The aim of religion is only the annihilation of the self will of the individual as opposed to the Will of the Whole, not the losing of one's self in the unconscious wastes of the universe, but the harmonizing of one's self with the Supreme Law of the universe.

An humble, loving, and joyous conformity to the truth constitutes morality and religion. This is not necessarily inconsistent with a personal immortality. Besides, the charge may be retorted. To be identified with the universe is a prouder thought than to be subordinated to it as an infinitesimal individual. It is a far haughtier conceit to fancy one's self an integral part of God's substance than to believe one's self a worshipping pensioner of God's will. The conception, too, is less native to the mind, has been more curiously sought out, and is incomparably more pampering to speculative luxury. If accusations of selfishness and wilfulness are to be hurled upon any modes of preferred faith as to our destiny, this self styled disinterested surrender of our personality to the pantheistic Soul is as obnoxious to them as the common belief.

If a desire for personal immortality be a normal experience in the development of our nature, it cannot be indictable as an offence, but must be recognised as an indication of God's design. Whether the desire is a cold and degraded piece of egotism deserving rebuke and contempt, or a lofty and sympathetic affection worthy of reverence and approval, depends on no intrinsic ingredient of the desire itself, but on the character in which it has its being. One person will be a heartless tyrant, another a loving saint, in his hope of a future life. Shall our love of the dead, our prayers to meet them again, our unfathomed yearnings to know that they still live and are happy, be stigmatized as mean and evil? Regard for others as much as for ourselves prompts the eternal sigh. Nor will Divinity ever condemn the feeling himself has awakened. It is said that Xerxes, gazing once upon his gorgeous army of a million men spread out below hire, sheathed in golden armor, white plumes nodding, purple standards waving, martial horns blowing, wept as he thought that in thirty years the entire host composing that magnificent spectacle would be dead. To have gazed thoughtfully upon such a sight with unmoved sensibilities would imply a much more selfish and hard hearted egotist. So when a lonely philanthropist from some meditative eminence looks down on the human race, if, as the contemplation of their pathetic fading and decay wounds his saddened heart, he heals and cheers it with the faith of a glorious immortality for them all, who shall call him selfish and sinful? To rest contented with the speedy night and the infinite oblivion, wiping off all the unsolved sums from the slate of existence with annihilation's remorseless sponge, that would be the selfishness and the cruelty.

When that sweet asp, death, fastens on our vein of earthly life, we all feel, like the dying queen of Egypt, that we have "immortal longings" in us. Since the soul thus holds by a pertinacious instinct to the eternity of her own existence, it is more rational to conclude that this is a pledge of her indestructible personality, God's impregnable defence reared around the citadel of her being, than to consider it the artificial rampart flung up by an insurgent egotism. In like manner, it is a misrepresentation of the facts to assert the culpable selfishness of the faith in a future life as a demanded reward for fidelity and merit here. No one demands immortality as pay for acquired desert. It is modestly looked for as a free boon from the God who freely gave the present and who has by a thousand symbolic prophecies promised it. Richter says, with great insight, "We desire immortality not as the reward of virtue, but as its continuance. Virtue can no more be rewarded than joy can: it is its own reward." Kant says, "Immortality has been left so uncertain in order that pure freedom of choice, and no selfish views, shall prompt our aspirations." "But," Jean Paul keenly replies, "as we have now discovered this intention, its object is defeated. Besides, if the belief in immortality makes virtue selfish, the experience of it in the next world would make it more so." The anticipation of heaven can hardly make man a selfish calculator of profit; because heaven is no reward for crafty reckoning, but the home of pure and holy souls. Virtue which resists temptation and perseveres in rectitude because it has a sharp eye to an ulterior result is not virtue. No credible doctrine of a future life offers a prize except to those who are just and devout and strenuous in sacred service from free loyalty to the right and the good, spontaneously obeying and loving the higher and better call because it divinely commands their obedience and love. The law of duty is the superior claim of truth and goodness. Virtue, yielding itself filially to this, finds in heaven not remuneration, but a sublimer theatre and an immortal career. Egotistic greed, all mere prudential considerations as determining conditions or forces in the award, are excluded as unclean and inadmissible by the very terms; and the doctrine stands justified on every ground as pure and wholesome before the holiest tribunal of ethics. Surely it is right that goodness should be blessed; but when it continues good only for the sake of being blessed it ceases to be goodness. It is not the belief in immortality, but only the belief in a corrupt doctrine of immortality which can poison the springs of disinterested virtue.

The morality of the doctrine of a future life having thus been defended from the attacks of those who have sought to destroy it in the fancied interests either of the enjoyments of the earth or of the purity of virtue and religion, it now remains to free it from the still more fatal supports which false or superficial religionists have sought to give it by wrenching out of it meanings it never held, by various perverse abuses of it, by monstrous exaggerations of its moral importance to the present. We have seen that the supposition of another life, correctly interpreted, lays no new duty upon man, takes away from him no old duty or privilege, but simply gives to the previously existing facts of the case the intensifying glory and strength of fresh light, motive, and consolation. But many public teachers, not content to treat the subject with this sobriety of reason, instead of presenting the careful conclusions of a conscientious analysis, have sought to strengthen their argument to the feelings by help of prodigious assumptions, assumptions hastily adopted, highly colored, and authoritatively urged. Upon the hypothesis that annihilation is the fate of man, they are not satisfied merely to take away from the present all the additional light, incentive, and comfort imparted by the faith in a future existence, but they arbitrarily remove all the alleviations and glories intrinsically belonging to the scene, and paint it in the most horrible hues, and set it in a frame of midnight. Thus, instead of calmly seeking to elicit and recommend truth, they strive, by terrifying the fancy and shocking the prejudices, to make people accept their dogma because frightened at the seeming consequences of rejecting it. It is necessary to expose the fearful fallacies which have been employed in this way, and which are yet extensively used for the same purpose.

Even a Christian writer usually so judicious as Andrews Norton has said, "Without the belief in personal immortality there can be no religion; for what can any truths of religion concern the feelings and the conduct of beings whose existence is limited to a few years in this world?" 3 Such a statement from such a quarter is astonishing. Surely the sentiments natural to a person or incumbent upon him do not depend on the duration of his being, but on the character, endowments, and relations of his being. The hypothetical fact that man perishes with his body does not destroy God, does not destroy man's dependence on God for all his privileges, does not annihilate the overwhelming magnificence of the universe, does not alter the native sovereignty of holiness, does not quench our living reason, imagination, or sensibility, while they last. The soul's gratitude, wonder, love, and worship are just as right and instinctive as before. If our experience on earth, before the phenomena of the visible creation and in conscious communion with the emblemed attributes of God, does not cause us to kneel in humility and to adore in awe, then it may be doubted if heaven or hell will ever persuade us to any sincerity in such acts. The simple prolongation of our being does not add to its qualitative contents, cannot increase the kinds of our capacity or the number of our duties. Chalmers utters an injurious error in saying, as he does, "If there be no future life, the moral constitution of man is stripped of its significancy, and the Author of that constitution is stripped of his wisdom and authority and honor." 4 The creative Sovereign of fifty million firmaments of worlds "stripped of his wisdom and authority and honor" because a few insects on a little speck are not eternal! Can egotistic folly any further go? The affirmation or denial of immortality neither adds to nor diminishes the numerical relations and ingredients of our nature and experience. If religion is fitted for us on the former supposition, it is also on the latter. To any dependent intelligence blessed with our human susceptibilities, reverential love and submission are as obligatory, natural, and becoming on the brink of annihilation as on the verge of immortality.

Rebellious egotism makes all the difference. Truth is truth, whatever it be. Religion is the meek submission of self will to God's will. That is a duty not to be escaped, no matter what the future reserves or excludes for us.

Another sophism almost universally accepted needs to be shown. Man, it is said, has no interest in a future life if not conscious in it of the past. If, on exchange of worlds, man loses his memory, he virtually ceases to exist, and might just as well be annihilated. A future life with perfect oblivion of the present is no life at all for us. Is not this style of thought the most provincial egotism, the utter absence of all generous thought and sympathy unselfishly grasping the absolute boons of being? It is a shallow error, too, even on the grounds of selfishness itself. In any point of view the difference is diametric and immense between a happy being in an eternal present, unconscious of the past, and no being at all. Suppose a man thirty years of age were offered his choice to die this moment, or to live fifty years longer of unalloyed success and happiness, only with a complete forgetfulness of all that has happened up to this moment. He would not hesitate to grasp the gift, however much he regretted the condition.

3 Tracts concerning Christianity, p. 307.

4 Bridgewater Treatise, part ii. ch. 10, sect. 15.

It has often been argued that with the denial of a retributive life beyond the grave all restraints are taken off from the passions, free course given to every impulse. Chateaubriand says, bluntly, "There can be no morality if there be no future state." 5 With displeasing coarseness, and with most reprehensible recklessness of reasoning, Luther says, in contradiction to the essential nobleness of his loving, heroic nature, "If you believe in no future life, I would not give a mushroom for your God. Do, then, as you like. For if no God, so no devil, no hell: as with a fallen tree, all is over when you die. Then plunge into lechery, rascality, robbery, and murder." What bible of Moloch had he been studying to form, for the time, so horrid a theory of the happiest life, and to put so degrading an estimate upon human nature? Is man's will a starved wolf only held back by the triple chain of fear of death, Satan, and hell, from tearing forth with ravenous bounds to flesh the fangs of his desires in bleeding virtue and innocence? Does the greatest satisfaction man is capable of here, the highest blessedness he can attain to, consist in drunkenness, gluttony, dishonesty, violence, and impiety? If he had the appetite of a tiger or a vulture, then, thus to wallow in the offal of vice, dive into the carrion of sensuality, abandon himself to revelling in carnivorous crime, might be his instinct and his happiness. But by virtue of his humanity man loves his fellows, enjoys the scenery of nature, takes delight in thought and art, dilates with grand presentiments of glory and eternity, mysteriously yearns after the hidden God. To a reasonable man and no other is to be reasoned with on matters of truth and interest the assumption of this brief season as all, will be a double motive not to hasten and embitter its brevity by folly, excess, and sin. If you are to be dead to morrow, for that very reason, in God's name, do not, by gormandizing and guzzling, anticipate death to day! The true restraint from wrong and degradation is not a crouching conscience of superstition and selfishness, fancying a chasm of fire, but a high toned conscience of reason and honor, perceiving that they are wrong and degradation, and spontaneously loathing them.

Still worse, many esteemed authors have not hesitated to assert that unless there be a future life there is not only no check on passion within, but no moral law without; every man is free to do what he pleases, without blame or fault. Sir Kenelm Digby says, in his "Treatise on Man's Soule," that "to predicate mortality in the soule taketh away all morality, and changeth men into beastes, by removing the ground of all difference in those thinges which are to governe our actions." 6 This style of teaching is a very mischievous absurdity. Admit, for a moment, that Jocko in the woods of Brazil, and Schiller in the brilliant circles of Weimar, will at last meet the same fate in the dusty grasp of death; yet, while they live, one is an ape, the other is a man. And the differences of capacity and of duty are numberless and immense. The statement is enough: argument would be ridiculous. The words of an audacious French preacher are yet more shocking than those of the English nobleman. It is hard to believe they could be uttered in good faith. Says Massillon, in his famous declamation on immortality, "If we wholly perish with the body, the maxims of charity, patience, justice, honor, gratitude, and friendship, are but empty words. Our own passions shall decide our duty.

5 Genie du Christianisme, partie ii. livre vi. chap. 3.

6 Ch. ix. sect. 10.

If retribution terminate with the grave, morality is a mere chimera, a bugbear of human invention." 7 What debauched unbeliever ever inculcated a viler or a more fatal doctrine? Its utter barelessness, as a single illustration may show, is obvious at a glance. As the sciences of algebra and geometry, the relations of numbers and bodies, are true for the material world although they may be lost sight of when time and space are transcended in some higher state, so the science of ethics, the relations of nobler and baser, of right and wrong, the manifold grades and qualities of actions and motives, are true for human nature and experience in this life even if men perish in the grave. However soon certain facts are to end, while they endure they are as they are. In a moment of carelessness, by some strange slip of the mind, showing, perhaps, how tenaciously rooted are the common prejudice and falsehood on this subject, even so bold and fresh a thinker as Theodore Parker has contradicted his own philosophy by declaring, "If to morrow I perish utterly, then my fathers will be to me only as the ground out of which my bread corn is grown. I shall care nothing for the generations of mankind. I shall know no higher law than passion. Morality will vanish." 8 Ah, man reveres his fathers and loves to act nobly, not because he is to live forever, but because he is a man. And, though all the summer hopes of escaping the grave were taken from human life, choicest and tenderest virtues might still flourish, as it is said the German crossbill pairs and broods in the dead of winter. The martyr's sacrifice and the voluptuary's indulgence are very different things to day, if they do both cease to morrow. No speed of advancing destruction can equalize Agamemnon and Thersites, Mansfield and Jeffries, or hustle together justice and fraud, cowardice and valor, purity and corruption, so that they will interchange qualities. There is an eternal and immutable morality, as whiteness is white, and blackness is black, and triangularity is triangular. And no severance of temporal ties or compression of spatial limits can ever cut the condign bonds of duty and annihilate the essential distinctions of good and evil, magnanimity and meanness, faithfulness and treachery.

Reducing our destiny from endless to definite cannot alter the inherent rightfulness and superiority of the claims of virtue. The most it can do is to lessen the strength of the motive, to give the great motor nerve of our moral life a perceptible stroke of palsy. In reference to the question, Can ephemera have a moral law? Richter reasons as follows: "Suppose a statue besouled for two days. If on the first day you should shatter it, and thus rob it of one day's life, would you be guilty of murder? One can injure only an immortal." 9 The sophistry appears when we rectify the conclusion thus: one can inflict an immortal injury only on an immortal being. In fact, it would appear to be a greater wrong and injury, for the time, to destroy one day's life of a man whose entire existence was confined to two days, than it would be to take away the same period from the bodily existence of one who immediately thereupon passes into a more exalted and eternal life. To the sufferer, the former would seem an immitigable calamity, the latter a benign furtherance; while, in the agent, the overt act is the same. This general moral problem has been more accurately answered by Isaac Taylor, whose lucid statement is as follows: "The creatures of a summer's day might be imagined, when

7 OEuvres Completes, tome xiii.: Immortalite de l'Ame.

8 Sermons of Theism, Sermon VII.

9 Werke, band xxxiii. s. 240.

they stand upon the threshold of their term of existence, to make inquiry concerning the attributes of the Creator and the rules of his government; for these are to be the law of their season of life and the measure of their enjoyments. The sons of immortality would put the same questions with an intensity the greater from the greater stake."

Practically, the acknowledged authority of the moral law in human society cannot be destroyed. Its influence may be unlimitedly weakened, its basis variously altered, but as a confessed sovereign principle it cannot be expelled. The denial of the freedom of the will theoretically explodes it; but social custom, law, and opinion will enforce it still. Make man a mere dissoluble mixture of carbon and magnetism, yet so long as he can distinguish right and wrong, good and evil, love and hate, and, unsophisticated by dialectics, can follow either of opposite courses of action, the moral law exists and exerts its sway.

It has been asked, "If the incendiary be, like the fire he kindles, a result of material combinations, shall he not be treated in the same way?" 10 We should reply thus: No matter what man springs from or consists of, if he has moral ideas, performs moral actions, and is susceptible of moral motives, then he is morally responsible: for all practical and disciplinary purposes he is wholly removed from the categories of physical science.

Another pernicious misrepresentation of the fair consequences of the denial of a life hereafter is shown in the frequent declaration that then there would be no motive to any thing good and great. The incentives which animate men to strenuous services, perilous virtues, disinterested enterprises, spiritual culture, would cease to operate. The essential life of all moral motives would be killed. This view is to be met by a broad and indignant denial based on an appeal to human consciousness and to the reason of the thing. Every man knows by experience that there are a multitude of powerful motives, entirely disconnected with future reward or punishment, causing him to resist evil and to do good even with self sacrificing toil and danger. When the fireman risks his life to save a child from the flames of a tumbling house, is the hope of heaven his motive? When the soldier spurns an offered bribe and will not betray his comrades nor desert his post, is the fear of hell all that animates him? A million such decisive specifications might be made. The renowned sentence of Cicero, "Nemo unquam sine magna spe immortalitatis se pro patria offerret ad mortem," 11 is effective eloquence; but it is a baseless libel against humanity and the truth. In every moment of supreme nobleness and sacrifice personality vanishes. Thousands of patriots, philosophers, saints, have been glad to die for the freedom of native land, the cause of truth, the welfare of fellow men, without a taint of selfish reward touching their wills. Are there not souls "To whom dishonor's shadow is a substance More terrible than death here and hereafter"?

He must be the basest of men who would decline to do any sublime act of virtue because he did not expect to enjoy the consequences of it eternally. Is there no motive for the

10 Some discussion of this general subject is to be found in
Schaller, Leib nod Seele. kap. 5: Die Consequentzen des
Materialismus. And in Schopenhauer, Die beiden Grundprobleme der
Ethik.

11 Tuscul. Quast. lib. i. cap. 15.

preservation of health because it cannot be an everlasting possession? Since we cannot eat sweet and wholesome food forever, shall we therefore at once saturate our stomachs with nauseating poisons?

If all experienced good and evil wholly terminate for us when we die, still, every intrinsic reason which, on the supposition of immortality, makes wisdom better than folly, industry better than sloth, righteousness better than iniquity, benevolence and purity better than hatred and corruption, also makes them equally preferable while they last. Even if the philosopher and the idiot, the religious philanthropist and the brutal pirate, did die alike, who would not rather live like the sage and the saint than like the fool and the felon? Shall heaven be held before man simply as a piece of meat before a hungry dog to make him jump well? It is a shocking perversion of the grandest doctrine of faith. Let the theory of annihilation assume its direst phase, still, our perception of principles, our consciousness of sentiments, our sense of moral loyalty, are not dissolved, but will hold us firmly to every noble duty until we ourselves flow into the dissolving abyss. But some one may say, "If I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me if the dead rise not?" It advantageth you every thing until you are dead, although there be nothing afterwards. As long as you live, is it not glory and reward enough to have conquered the beasts at Ephesus? This is sufficient reply to the unbelieving flouters at the moral law. And, as an unanswerable refutation of the feeble whine of sentimentality that without immortal endurance nothing is worth our affection, let great Shakspeare advance, with his matchless depth of bold insight reversing the conclusion, and pronouncing, in tones of cordial solidity,

"This, thou perceivest, will make thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long."

What though Decay's shapeless hand extinguish us? Its foreflung and enervating shadow shall neither transform us into devils nor degrade us into beasts. That shadow indeed only falls in the valleys of ignoble fear and selfishness, leaving all the clear road lines of moral truth and practical virtue and heroic consecration still high and bright on the table land of a worthy life; and every honorable soul, calmly confronting its fate, will cry, despite the worst, "The pathway of my duty lies in sunlight; And I would tread it with as firm a step, Though it should terminate in cold oblivion, As if Elysian pleasures at its Close Gleam'd palpable to sight as things of earth."

If a captain knew that his ship would never reach her port, would he therefore neglect his functions, be slovenly and careless, permit insubordination and drunkenness among the crew, let the broad pennon draggle in filthy rents, the cordage become tangled and stiff, the planks be covered with dirt, and the guns be grimed with rust? No: all generous hearts would condemn that. He would keep every inch of the deck scoured, every piece of metal polished like a mirror, the sails set full and clean, and, with shining muzzles out, ropes hauled taut in their blocks, and every man at his post, he would sweep towards the reef, and go down into the sea firing a farewell salute of honor to the sun, his flag flying above him as he sunk.

The dogmatic assertors of a future life, in a partisan spirit set upon making out the most impressive case in its behalf, have been guilty of painting frightful caricatures of the true nature and significance of the opposite conclusion. Instead of saying, "If such a thing be fated, why, then, it must be right, God's will be done," they frantically rebel against any such admission, and declare that it would make God a liar and a fiend, man a "magnetic mockery," and life a hellish taunt. This, however unconscious it may be to its authors, is blasphemous egotism. One of the tenderest, devoutest, richest, writers of the century has unflinchingly affirmed that if man who trusted that love was the final law of creation, although nature, her claws and teeth red with raven, shrieked against his creed be left to be blown about the desert dust or sealed within the iron hills,

"No more! a monster, then, a dream,
A discord; dragons of the prime,
That tare each other in their slime,
Were mellow music match'd with Him!"

Epictetus says, "When death overtakes me, it is enough if I can stretch out my hands to God, and say, 'The opportunities which thou hast given me of comprehending and following thy government, I have not neglected. I thank thee that thou hast brought me into being. I am satisfied with the time I have enjoyed the things thou hast given me. Receive them again, and assign them to whatever place thou wilt.'" 12 Surely the pious heathen here speaks more worthily than the presumptuous Christian! How much fitter would it be, granting that death is the end all, to revise our interpretation, look at the subject from the stand point of universal order, not from this opinionative narrowness, and see if it be not susceptible of a benignant meaning, worthy of grateful acceptance by the humble mind of piety and the dispassionate spirit of science! Yea, let God and his providence stand justified, though man prove to have been egregiously mistaken.

"Though He smite me, yet will I praise Him; though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

To return into the state we were in before we were created is not to suffer any evil: it is to be absolutely free from all evil. It is but the more perfect playing of that part, of which every sound sleep is a rehearsal. The thought of it is mournful to the enjoying soul, but not terrific; and even the mournfulness ceases in the realization. He uttered a piece of cruel madness who said, "Hell is more bearable than nothingness." Is it worse to have nothing than it is to have infinite torture? Milton asks,

"For who would lose, Though full of pain, this intellectual being?"

Every creature that exists, if full of pain, would snatch at the boon of ceasing to be. To be blessed is a good; to be wretched is an evil; not to be is neither a good nor an evil, but simply

12 Dissert., lib. iv. cap. x. sect. 2.

nothing. If such be our necessary fate, let us accept it with a harmonized mind, not entertaining fear nor yielding to sadness. Why should we shudder or grieve? Every time we slumber, we try on the dress which, when we die, we shall wear easily forever.

Not satisfied to let the result rest in this somewhat sad but peaceful aspect, it is quite customary to give it a turn and hue of ghastly horribleness, by casting over it the dyspeptic dreams, injecting it with the lurid lights and shades, of a morbid and wilful fancy. The most loathsome and inexcusable instance in point is the "Vision of Annihilation" depicted by the vermicular, infested imagination of the great Teutonic phantasist while yet writhing under the sanguinary fumes of some horrid attack of nightmare. Stepping across the earth, which is but a broad executioner's block for pale, stooping humanity, he enters the larva world of blotted out men. The rotten chain of beings reaches down into this slaughter field of souls. Here the dead are pictured as eternally horripilating at death! "As annihilation, the white shapelessness of revolting terror, passes by each unsouled mask of a man, a tear gushes from the crumbled eye, as a corpse bleeds when its murderer approaches." Pah! Out upon this execrable retching of a nauseated fancy! What good is there in the baseless conceit and gratuitous disgust of saying, "The next world is in the grave, betwixt the teeth of the worm"? In the case supposed, the truth is merely that there is no next world anywhere; not that all the horrors of hell are scooped together into the grave, and there multiplied by others direr yet and unknown before. Man's blended duty and interest, in such a case, are to try to see the interior beauty and essential kindness of his fate, to adorn it and embrace it, fomenting his resignation with the sweet lotions of faith and peace, not exasperating his wounds with the angry pungents of suspicion, alarm, and complaint. At the worst, amidst all our personal disappointments, losses, and decay, "the view of the great universal whole of nature," as Humboldt says, "is reassuring and consolatory." If the boon of a future immortality be not ours, therefore to scorn the gift of the present life, is to act not like a wise man, who with grateful piety makes the best of what is given, but like a spoiled child, who, if he cannot have both his orange and his gingerbread, pettishly flings his gingerbread in the mud.

The future life, outside of the realm of faith, to an earnest and independent inquirer, and considered as a scientific question, lies in a painted mist of uncertainty. There is room for hope, and there is room for doubt. The wavering evidences in some moods preponderate on that side, in other moods on this side. Meanwhile it is clear that, while he lives here, the best thing he can do is to cherish a devout spirit, cultivate a noble character, lead a pure and useful life in the service of wisdom, humanity, and God, and finally, when the appointed time arrives, meet the issue with reverential and affectionate conformity, without dictating terms. Let the vanishing man say, like Ruckert's dying flower, "Thanks to day for all the favors I have received from sun and stream and earth and sky, for all the gifts from men and God which have made my little life an ornament and a bliss. Heaven, stretch out thine azure tent while my faded one is sinking here. Joyous spring tide, roll on through ages yet to come, in which fresh generations shall rise and be glad. Farewell all! Content to have had my turn, I now fall asleep, without a murmur or a sigh." Surely the mournful nobility of such a strain of sentiment is preferable by much to the selfish terror of that unquestioning belief which in the Middle Age depicted the chase of the soul by Satan, on the columns and doors of the churches, under the symbol of a deer pursued by a hunter and hounds; and which has in later times produced in thousands the feeling thus terribly expressed by Bunyan, "I blessed the condition of the dog and toad because they had no soul to perish under the everlasting weight of hell!"

Sight of truth, with devout and loving submission to it, is an achievement whose nobleness outweighs its sorrow, even if the gazer foresee his own destruction.

It is not our intention in these words to cast doubt on the immortality of the soul, or to depreciate the value of a belief in it. We desire to vindicate morality and religion from the unwitting attacks made on them by many self styled Christian writers in their exaggeration of the practical importance of such a faith. The qualitative contents of human nature have nothing to do with its quantitative contents: our duties rest not on the length, but on the faculties and relations, of our existence. Make the life of a dog endless, he has only the capacity of a dog; make the life of a man finite, still, within its limits, he has the psychological functions of humanity. Faith in immortality may enlarge and intensify the motives to prudent and noble conduct; it does not create new ones. The denial of immortality may pale and contract those motives; it does not take them away.

Knowing the burden and sorrow of earth, brooding in dim solicitude over the far times and men yet to be, we cannot recklessly utter a word calculated to lessen the hopes of man, pathetic creature, who weeps into the world and faints out of it. It is our faith not knowledge that the spirit is without terminus or rest. The faithful truth hunter, in dying, finds not a covert, but a better trail. Yet the saintliness of the intellect is to be purged from prejudice and self will. With God we are not to prescribe conditions. The thought that all high virtue and piety must die with the abandonment of belief in immortality is as pernicious and dangerous as it is shallow, vulgar, and unchristian. The view is obviously gaining prevalence among scientific and philosophical thinkers, that life is the specialization of the universal in the individual, death the restoration of the individual to the whole. This doubt as to a personal future life will unquestionably increase. Let traditional teachers beware how they venture to shift the moral law from its immutable basis in the will of God to a precarious poise on the selfish hope and fear of man. The sole safety, the ultimate desideratum, is perception of law with disinterested conformity.

The influence of the doctrine of reward and punishment in a future state, as a working motive for the observance of the moral law, is enormously overestimated. The influence, as such a motive, of the public opinion of mankind, with the legal and social sanctions, is enormously underestimated. And the authority of a personal perception of right is also most unbecomingly depreciated. UNIVERSAL ORDER is the expression of the purposes of God, not as arbitrarily chosen by his will and capriciously revealed in a book, but as necessitated by his nature and embodied in his works. The true basis of morality is universal order. The true end of morality is life, the sum of moral laws being identical with the sum of the conditions in accordance with which the fruition of the functions of life can be secured with nearest approach to perfectness, perpetuity, and universality. The true sanctions of morality are the manifold forms in which consciousness of life is heightened by harmony with universal order or lowered by discord with it. The true law of moral sacrifice or resistance to temptation is misrepresented by the common doctrine of heaven and hell, which makes it consist in the renunciation of a present good for the clutching of a future good, the voluntary suffering of a small present evil to avoid the involuntary suffering of an immense future evil. The true law of moral sacrifice is deeper, purer, more comprehensive, than that. It expresses our duty, in accordance with the requirements of universal order, to subordinate the gratification of any part of our being to that of the whole of our being, to forego the good of any portion of our life in deference to that of all our life, to renounce any happiness of the individual which conflicts with the welfare of the race, to hold the spiritual atom in absolute abeyance to the spiritual universe, to sink self in God. If a man believe in no future life, is he thereby absolved from the moral law? The kind and number of his duties remain as before: only the apparent grandeur of their scale and motives is diminished. The two halves of morality are the co ordination of separate interests in universal order, and the loyalty of the parts to the wholes. The desire to remove the obligations and sanctions of the moral law from their intrinsic supports, and posit them on the fictitious pedestals of a forensic heaven and hell, reveals incompetency of thought and vulgarity of sentiment in him who does it, and is a procedure not less perilous than unwarranted. If the creation be conceived as a machine, it is a machine self regulating in all its parts by the immanent presence of its Maker.

When we die, may the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter of Christ, be our confessor; the last inhaled breath our cup of absolution; the tears of some dear friend our extreme unction; no complaint for past trials, but a grateful acknowledgment for all blessings, our parting word. And then, resigning ourselves to the universal Father, assured that whatever ought to be, and is best to be, will be, either absolute oblivion shall be welcome, or we will go forward to new destinies, whether with preserved identity or with transformed consciousness and powers being indifferent to us, since the will of God is done. In the mean time, until that critical pass and all decisive hour, as Milnes says:

"We all must patient stand, Like statues on appointed pedestals: Yet we may choose since choice is given to shun Servile contentment or ignoble fear In the expression of our attitude; And with far straining eyes, and hands upcast, And feet half raised, declare our painful state, Yearning for wings to reach the fields of truth, Mourning for wisdom, panting to be free."

Mediaval Doctrine of A Future Life

THE period of time covered by the present chapter reaches from the close of the tenth century to the middle of the sixteenth, from the first full establishment of the Roman Catholic theology and the last general expectation of the immediate end of the world to the commencing decline of mediaval faith and the successful inauguration of the Protestant Reformation. The principal mental characteristic of that age, especially in regard to the subject of the future life, was fear. "Never," says Michelet, "can we know in what terrors the Middle Age lived." There was all abroad a living fear of men, fear of the State, fear of the Church, fear of God, fear of the devil, fear of hell, fear of death. Preaching consisted very much in the invitation, "Submit to the guidance of the Church while you live," enforced by the threat, "or you shall go to hell when you die." Christianity was practically reduced to some cruel metaphysical dogmas, a mechanical device for rescuing the devil's captives from him, and a system of ritual magic in the hands of a priesthood who wielded an authority of supernatural terrors over a credulous and shuddering laity. It is true that the genuine spirit and contents of Christianity were never wholly suppressed. The love of God, the blessed mediation of the benignant Jesus, the lowly delights of the Beatitudes, the redeeming assurance of pardon, the consoling, triumphant expectation of heaven, were never utterly banished even from the believers of the Dark Age. Undoubtedly many a guilty but repentant soul found forgiveness and rest, many a meek and spotless breast was filled with pious rapture, many a dying disciple was comforted and inspired, by the good tidings proclaimed from priestly lips even then. No doubt the sacred awe and guarded peace surrounding their precincts, the divine lessons inculcated within their walls, the pathetic prayers breathed before their altars, the traditions of saintly men and women who had drawn angelic visitants down to their cells and had risen long ago to be angels themselves, the strains of unearthly melody bearing the hearts of the kneeling crowd into eternity, no doubt these often made cathedral and convent seem "islands of sanctity amidst the wild, roaring, godless sea of the world." Still, the chief general feeling of the time in relation to the future life was unquestionably fear springing from belief, the wedlock of superstitious faith and horror.

During the six centuries now under review the Roman Catholic Church and theology were the only Christianity publicly recognised. The heretics were few and powerless, and the papal system had full sway. Since the early part of the period specified, the working theology of the Roman Church has undergone but few, and, as pertaining to our subject, unimportant, changes or developments. Previous to that time her doctrinal scheme was inchoate, gradually assimilating foreign elements and developing itself step by step. The principal changes now concerning us to notice in the passage from patristic eschatology as deducible, for instance, from the works of Chrysostom, or as seen in the "Apostles' Creed" to mediaval eschatology as displayed in the "Summa" of Thomas Aquinas or in the Catechism of Trent are these. The supposititious details of the under world have been definitely arranged in greater subdivision; heaven has been opened for the regular admission of certain souls; the loose notions about purgatory have been completed and consolidated; and the whole combined scheme has been organized as a working instrument of ecclesiastical power and profit.

These changes seem to have been wrought out, first, by continual assimilations of Christianity to paganism,1 both in doctrine and ceremony, to win over the heathen; and, secondly, by modifications and growths to meet the exigencies of doctrinal consistency and practical efficiency, exigencies repeatedly arising from philosophical discussion and political opposition.

The degree in which papal Christianity was conformed to the prejudices and customs of the heathen believers, whose allegiance was sought, is astonishing. It extended to hundreds of particulars, from the most fundamental principles of theological speculation to the most trivial details of ritual service. We shall mention only a few instances of this kind immediately belonging to the subject we are treating. In the first place, the hierophant in the pagan Mysteries, and the initiatory rites, were the prototypes of the Roman Catholic bishop and the ceremonies under his direction.2 Christian baptism was made to be the same as the pagan initiation: both were supposed to cleanse from sin and to secure for their subject a better fate in the future life: they were both, therefore, sometimes delayed until just before death.3 The custom of initiating children into the Mysteries was also common, as infant baptism became.4 When the public treasury was low, the magistrates sometimes raised a fund by recourse to the initiating fees of the Mysteries, as the Christian popes afterwards collected money from the sale of pardons.

In the second place, the Roman Catholic canonization was the same as the pagan apotheosis. Among the Gentiles, the mass of mankind were supposed to descend to Hades at death; but a few favored ones were raised to the sky, deified, and a sort of worship paid to them. So the Roman Church taught that nearly all souls passed to the subterranean abodes, but that martyrs and saints were admitted to heaven and might lawfully be prayed to.5

Thirdly, the heathen under world was subdivided into several regions, wherein different persons were disposed according to their deserts. The worst criminals were in the everlasting penal fire of Tartarus; the best heroes and sages were in the calm meadows of Elysium; the hapless children were detained in the dusky borders outside the grim realm of torture; and there was a purgatorial place where those not too guilty were cleansed from their stains. In like manner, the Romanist theologians divided the under world into four parts: hell for the final abode of the stubbornly wicked; one limbo for the painless, contented tarrying of the good patriarchs who died before the advent of Christ had made salvation possible, and another limbo for the sad and pallid resting place of those children who died unbaptized; purgatory, in which expiation is offered in agony for sins committed on earth and unatoned for.6

1 Middleton, Letter from Rome, showing an exact conformity between Popery and Paganism.

2 Lobeck, Aglaophamus, lib. i. sect. 6. Mosheim's Comm., ch. i. sect. 13.

3 Warburton, Div. Leg., book ii. sect. 4.

4 Terence, Phormio, act i scene 1.

5 Council of Trent, sess. vi. can. xxx. Sess. xxv.: Decree on Invocation of Saints.

6 See Milman, Hist. Latin Christianity, book xiv. ch. ii.

Before proceeding further, we must trace the prevalence and progress of the doctrine of purgatory a little as it was known before its embodiment in mediaval mythology, and then as it was embodied there. The fundamental doctrine of the Hindu hell was that a certain amount of suffering undergone there would expiate a certain amount of guilt incurred here. When the disembodied soul had endured a sufficient quantity of retributive and purifying pain, it was loosed, and sent on earth in a new body. It was likewise a Hindu belief that the souls of deceased parents might be assisted out of this purgatorial woe by the prayers and offerings of their surviving children.7 The same doctrine was held by the Persians. They believed souls could be released from purgatory by the prayers, sacrifices, and good deeds of righteous surviving descendants and friends. "Zoroaster said he could, by prayer, send any one he chose to heaven or to hell." 8 Such representations are found obscurely in the Vendidad and more fully in the Bundehesh. The Persian doctrine that the living had power to affect the condition of the dead is further indicated in the fact that, from a belief that married persons were peculiarly happy in the future state, they often hired persons to be espoused to such of their relatives as had died in celibacy.9 The doctrine of purgatory was known and accepted among the Jews too. In the Second Book of Maccabees we read the following account: "Judas sent two thousand pieces of silver to Jerusalem to defray the expense of a sin offering to be offered for the sins of those who were slain, doing therein very well and honestly, in that he was mindful of the resurrection. For if he had not hoped that they who were slain should rise again, it had been superfluous and vain to pray for the dead. Whereupon he made an atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin."10 The Rabbins taught that children by sin offerings could help their parents out of their misery in the infernal world.11 They taught, furthermore, that all souls except holy ones, like those of Rabbi Akiba and his disciples, must lave themselves in the fire river of Gehenna; that therein they shall be like salamanders; that the just shall soon be cleansed in the fire river, but the wicked shall be lastingly burned.12 Again, we find this doctrine prevailing among the Romans. In the great Forum was a stone called "Lapis Manalis," described by Festus, which was supposed to cover the entrance to hell. This was solemnly lifted three times a year, in order to let those souls flow up whose sins had been purged away by their tortures or had been remitted in consideration of the offerings and services paid for them by the living. Virgil describes how souls are purified by the action of wind, water, and fire.13 The feast day of purgatory observed by papal Rome corresponds to the Lemuria celebrated by pagan Rome, and rests on the same doctrinal basis. In the Catholic countries of Europe at the present time, on All Saints' Day, festoons of sweet smelling flowers are hung on the tomb stones, and the people kneeling there repeat the prayer prescribed for releasing the souls of their relatives and friends from the plagues of purgatory. There is a notable coincidence between the Buddhist

7 See references to "Sraddha" in index to Vishnu Purana.

8 Atkinson's trans. of the Shah Nameh, p. 386.

9 Richardson, Dissertation on the Language, Literature, and Manners of the Eastern Nations, p. 347.

10 Cap. xii. 42-45.

11 Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, th. ii. kap. vi. s. 357.

12 Kabbala Denudata, tom ii. pars. i. pp. 108, 109, 113.

13 Aneid, lib. vi. 1. 739.

and the Romanist usages. Throughout the Chinese Empire, during the seventh moon of every year, prayers are offered up accompanied by illuminations and other rites for the release of souls in purgatory. At these times the Buddhist priests hang up large pictures, showing forth the frightful scenes in the other world, to induce the people to pay them money for prayers in behalf of their suffering relatives and friends in purgatory.14

Traces of belief in a purgatory early appear among the Christians. Many of the gravest Fathers of the first five centuries naturally conceived and taught, as is indeed intrinsically reasonable, that after death some souls will be punished for their sins until they are cleansed, and then will be released from pain. The Manichaans imagined that all souls, before returning to their native heaven, must be borne first to the moon, where with good waters they would be washed pure from outward filth, and then to the sun, where they would be purged by good fires from every inward stain.15 After these lunar and solar lustrations, they were fit for the eternal world of light. But the conception of purgatory as it was held by the early Christians, whether orthodox Fathers or heretical sects, was merely the just and necessary result of applying to the subject of future punishment the two ethical ideas that punishment should partake of degrees proportioned to guilt, and that it should be restorative. Jeremy Taylor conclusively argues that the prayers for the dead used by the early Christians do not imply any belief in the Papal purgatory.16 The severity and duration of the sufferings of the dead were not supposed to be in the power of the living, either their relatives or the clergy, but to depend on the moral and physical facts of the case according to justice and necessity, qualified only by the mercy of God.

Pope Gregory the Great, in the sixth century, either borrowing some of the more objectionable features of the purgatory doctrine previously held by the heathen, or else devising the same things himself from a perception of the striking adaptedness of such notions to secure an enviable power to the Church, constructed, established, and gave working efficiency to the dogmatic scheme of purgatory ever since firmly defended by the papal adherents as an integral part of the Roman Catholic system.17 The doctrine as matured and promulgated by Gregory, giving to the representatives of the Church an almost unlimited power over purgatory, rapidly grew into favor with the clergy and sank with general conviction into the hopes and fears of the laity. Venerable Bede, in the eighth century, gives a long account of the fully developed doctrine concerning purgatory, hell, paradise, and heaven. It is narrated in the form of a vision seen by Drithelm, who, in a trance, visits the regions which, on his return, he describes. The whole thing is gross, literal, horrible, closely resembling several well known descriptions given under similar circumstances and preserved in ancient heathen writers.18 The Church, seeing how admirably this instrument was calculated to promote her interest and deepen her power, left hardly any means untried to enlarge its sweep and intensify its operation. Accordingly, from the ninth to the sixteenth century, no doctrine was so central, prominent, and effective in the common teaching and

14 Asiatic Journal, 1840, p. 210, note.

15 Mosheim, Comm., III. Century, sect. 49, note 3.

16 Dissuasive from Popery, part ii. book ii. sect. 2.

17 Edgar, Variations of Popery, ch. xvi.

18 Hist. Ecc., lib. v. cap. xii. See also lib. iii. cap. xix.

practice of the Church, no fear was so widely spread and vividly felt in the bosom of Christendom, as the doctrine and the fear of purgatory.

The Romanist theory of man's condition in the future life is this, in brief. By the sin of Adam, heaven was closed against him and all his posterity, and the devil acquired a right to shut up their disembodied souls in the under world. In consequence of the "original sin" transmitted from Adam, every human being, besides suffering the other woes flowing from sin, was helplessly doomed to the under world after death. In addition to this penalty, each one must also answer for his own personal sins. Christ died to "deliver mankind from sin," "discharge the punishment due them," and "rescue them from the tyranny of the devil." He "descended into the under world," "subdued the devil," "despoiled the depths," "rescued the Fathers and just souls," and "opened heaven."19 "Until he rose, heaven was shut against every child of Adam, as it still is to those who die indebted." "The price paid by the Son of God far exceeded our debts." The surplus balance of merits, together with the merits accruing from the supererogatory good works of the saints and from the Divine sacrifice continually offered anew by the sacrament of the mass, constituted a reserved treasure upon which the Church was authorized to draw in behalf of any one she chose to favor. The localities of the future life were these:20 Limbus Patrum, or Abraham's Bosom, a place of peace and waiting, where the good went who died before Christ; Limbus Infantum, a mild, palliated hell, where the children go who, since Christ, have died unbaptized; Purgatory, where all sinners suffer until they are purified, or are redeemed by the Church, or until the last day; Hell, or Gehenna, whither the hopelessly wicked have always been condemned; and Heaven, whither the spotlessly good have been admitted since the ascension of Jesus. At the day of judgment the few human souls who have reached Paradise, together with the multitudes that crowd the regions of Gehenna, Purgatory, and Limbo, will reassume their bodies: the intermediate states will then be destroyed, and when their final sentence is pronounced all will depart forever, the acquitted into heaven, the condemned into hell. In the mean time, the poor victims of purgatory, by the prayers of the living for them, by the transfer of good works to their account, above all, by the celebration of masses in their behalf, may be relieved, rescued, translated to paradise. The words breathed by the spirit of the murdered King of Denmark in the ears of the horror stricken Hamlet paint the popular belief of that age in regard to the grisly realm where guilty souls were plied with horrors whereof, but that they were forbidden:

"To tell the secrets of their prison house, They could a tale unfold whose lightest word Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood, Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres, Thy knotted and combined locks to part, And each particular hair to stand on end Like quills upon the fretful porcupine."

19 Catechism of the Council of Trent.

20 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologia, pars Suppl. Quast. 69.

A few specimens of the stories embodying the ideas and superstitions current in the Middle Age may better illustrate the characteristic belief of the time than much abstract description. An unquestioning faith in the personality, visibility, and extensive agency of the devil was almost universal. Ascetics, saints, bishops, peasants, philosophers, kings, Gregory the Great, Martin Luther, all testified that they had often seen him. The mediaval conception of the devil was sometimes comical, sometimes awful. Grimm says, "He was Jewish, heathenish, Christian, idolatrous, elfish, titanic, spectral, all at once." He was "a soul snatching wolf," a "hell hound," a "whirlwind hammer;" now an infernal "parody of God" with "a mother who mimics the Virgin Mary," and now the "impersonated soul of evil."21 The well known story of Faust and the Devil, which in so many forms spread through Christendom, is so deeply significant of the faith and life of the age in which it arose that a volume would be required to unfold all its import. There was an old tradition that the students of necromancy or the black art, on reaching a certain pitch of proficiency, were obliged to run through a subterranean hall, where the devil literally caught the hindmost unless he sped so swiftly that the arch enemy could only seize his shadow, and in that case, a veritable Peter Schlemihl, he never cast a shadow afterwards! A man stood by his furnace one day casting eyes for buttons. The devil came up and asked what he was doing. "Casting eyes," replied the man. "Can you cast a pair for me?" quoth the devil. "That I can," says the man: "will you have them large or small?" "Oh, very large," answered the devil. He then ties the fiend on a bench and pours the molten lead into his eyes. Up jumps the devil, with the bench on his back, flees howling, and has never been seen since! There was also in wide circulation a wild legend to the effect that a man made a compact with the devil on the condition that he should secure a new victim for hell once in a century. As long as he did this he should enjoy life, riches, power, and a limited ubiquity; but failing a fresh victim at the end of each hundred years his own soul should be the forfeit. He lived four or five centuries, and then, in spite of his most desperate efforts, was disappointed of his expected victim on the last night of the century; and when the clock struck twelve the devil burst into his castle on a black steed and bore him off in a storm of lightning amidst the crash of thunders and the shrieks of fiends. St. Britius once during mass saw the devil in church taking account of the sins the congregation were committing. He covered the parchment all over, and, afraid of forgetting some of the offences, seized the scroll in his teeth and claws to stretch it out. It snapped, and his head was smartly bumped against the wall. St. Britius laughed aloud. The officiating priest rebuked him, but, on being told what had happened, improved the accident for the edification of his hearers.22 On the bursting of a certain glacier on the Alps, it is said the devil was seen swimming down the Rhone, a drawn sword in one hand, a golden ball in the other: opposite the town of Martigny, he cried, "Rise," and instantly the obedient river swelled above its banks and destroyed the town.

Ignes fatui, hovering about marshes and misty places, were thought to be the spirits of unbaptized children endeavoring to guide travellers to the nearest water. A kindred fancy

21 Deutsche Mythologie, cap. xxxiii.: Teufel.

22 Quarterly Review, Jan. 1820: Pop. Myth. of the Middle Ages.

also heard a spectral pack, called "yell hounds," afterwards corrupted to "hell hounds," composed of the souls of unbaptized children, which could not rest, but roamed and howled through the woods all night.23 A touching popular myth said, the robin's breast is so red because it flies into hell with drops of water in its bill to relieve the children there, and gets scorched.

In 1171, Silo, a philosopher, implored a dying pupil of his to come back and reveal his state in the other world. A few days after his death the scholar appeared in a cowl of flames covered with logical propositions. He told Silo that he was from purgatory, that the cowl weighed on him worse than a tower, and said he was doomed to wear it for the pride he took in sophisms. As he thus spoke he let fall a drop of sweat on his master's hand, piercing it through. The next day Silo said to his scholars, "I leave croaking to frogs, cawing to crows, and vain things to the vain, and hie me to the logic which fears not death."

"Linquo coax ranis, cras corvis, vanaque vanis, Ad logicen pergo qua mortis non timet ergo." 24

In the long, quaint poem, "Vision of William concerning Piers Ploughman," written probably by Robert Langland about the year 1362, there are many things illustrative of our subject. "I, Trojanus, a true knight, after death was condemned to hell for dying unbaptized. But, on account of my mercy and truth in administering the laws, the pope wished me to be saved; and God mercifully heard him and saved me without the help of masses."25 "Ever since the fall of Adam, Age has shaken the Tree of Human Life, and the devil has gathered the fruit into hell."26 The author gives a most spirited account of Christ's descent into the under world after his death, his battle with the devils there, his triumph over them, his rescue of Adam, and other particulars.27 In this poem, as in nearly all the extant productions of that period, there are copious evidences of the extent and power of the popular faith in the devil and in purgatory, and in their close connection with the present life, a faith nourishingly embodied in thousands of singular tales. Thomas Wright has collected many of these in his antiquarian works. He relates an amusing incident that once befell a minstrel who had been borne into hell by a devil. The devils went forth in a troop to ensnare souls on earth. Lucifer left the minstrel in charge of the infernal regions, promising, if he let no souls escape, to treat him on the return with a fat monk roasted, or a usurer dressed with hot sauce. But while the fiends were away St. Peter came, in disguise, and allured the minstrel to play at dice, and to stake the souls which were in torture under his care. Peter won, and carried them off in triumph. The devils, coming back and finding the fires all out and hell empty, kicked the hapless minstrel out, and Lucifer swore a big oath that no minstrel should ever darken the door of hell again!

The mediaval belief in a future life was practically concentrated, for the most part, around the ideas of Satan, purgatory, the last judgment, hell. The faith in Christ, God,

23 Allies, Antiquities of Worcestershire, 2d ed. p. 256.

24 Michelet, Hist. de France, livre iv. chap. ix.

25 Vision of Dowell, part iii.

26 Vision of Dobet, part ii.

27 Ibid., part iv.

heaven, was much rarer and less influential. Neander says, "The inmost distinction of mediaval experience was an awful sense of another life and an invisible world." A most piteous illustration of the conjoined faith and fear of that age is furnished by an old dialogue between the "Soul and the Body" recently edited by Halliwell, an expression of humble trust and crouching horror irresistibly pathetic in its simplicity.28 A flood of revealing light is given as to the energy with which the doctrine of purgatory impressed itself on the popular mind, by the two facts, first, that the Council of Auxerre, in 1578, prohibited the administration of the eucharist to the dead; and, secondly, that in the eleventh and twelfth centuries "crosses of absolution" that is, crosses cut out of sheet lead, with the formula of absolution engraved on them were quite commonly buried with the dead.29 The eager sincerity of the mediaval belief in another life is attested, too, by the correspondence of the representations of the dead in their legends to the appearance, disposition, and pursuits they had in life. No oblivious draught, no pure spiritualization, had freed the departed souls from earthly bonds and associations. Light pretexts drew them back to their wonted haunts. A buried treasure allowed them no rest till they had led some one to raise it. An unfinished task, an uncancelled obligation, forced them again to the upper world. In ruined castles the ghosts of knights, in their accustomed habiliments, held tournaments and carousals. The priest read mass; the hunter pursued his game; the spectre robber fell on the benighted traveller.30 It is hard for us now to reproduce, even in imagination, the fervid and frightful earnestness of the popular faith of the Middle Age in the ramifying agency of the devil and in the horrors of purgatory. We will try to do it, in some degree, by a series of illustrations aiming to show at once how prevalent such a belief and fear were, and how they became so prevalent.

First, we may specify the teaching of the Church whose authority in spiritual concerns bore almost unquestioned sway over the minds of more than eighteen generations. By the logical subtleties of her scholastic theologians, by the persuasive eloquence of her popular preachers, by the frantic ravings of her fanatic devotees, by the parading proclamation of her innumerable pretended miracles, by the imposing ceremonies of her dramatic ritual, almost visibly opening heaven and hell to the over awed congregation, by her wonder working use of the relics of martyrs and saints to exorcise demons from the possessed and to heal the sick, and by her anathemas against all who were supposed to be hostile to her formulas, she infused the ideas of her doctrinal system into the intellect, heart, and fancy of the common people, and nourished the collateral horrors, until every wave of her wand convulsed the world. In a pastoral letter addressed to the Carlovingian prince Louis, the grandson of Charlemagne, a letter probably composed by the famous Hincmar, bearing date 858, and signed by the Bishops of Rheims and Rouen, a Gallic synod authoritatively declared that Charles Martel was damned; "that on the opening of his tomb the spectators were affrighted by a smell of fire and the aspect of a horrid dragon, and that a saint of the times was indulged with a pleasant vision of the soul and body of this great hero burning to all eternity in the abyss of hell."

28 Early English Miscellanies, No. 2.

29 London Antiquaries' Archaologis, vol. xxxv. art. 22.

30 Thorpe, Northern Mythology, vol. i., appendix.

A tremendous impulse, vivifying and emphasizing the eschatological notions of the time, an impulse whose effects did not cease when it died, was imparted by that frightful epidemic expectation of the impending end of the world which wellnigh universally prevailed in Christendom about the year 1000. Many of the charters given at that time commence with the words, "As the world is now drawing to a close." 31 This expectation drew additional strength from the unutterable sufferings famine, oppression, pestilence, war, superstition then weighing on the people. "The idea of the end of the world," we quote from Michelet, "sad as that world was, was at once the hope and the terror of the Middle Age. Look at those antique statues of the tenth and eleventh centuries, mute, meager, their pinched and stiffened lineaments grinning with a look of living suffering allied to the repulsiveness of death. See how they implore, with clasped hands, that desired yet dreaded moment when the resurrection shall redeem them from their unspeakable sorrows and raise them from nothingness into existence and from the grave to God."

Furthermore, this superstitious character of the mediaval belief in the future life acquired breadth and intensity from the profound general ignorance and trembling credulousness of that whole period on all subjects. It was an age of marvels, romances, fears, when every landscape of life "wore a strange hue, as if seen through the sombre medium of a stained casement." While congregations knelt in awe beneath the lifted Host, and the image of the dying Savior stretched on the rood glimmered through clouds of incense, perhaps an army of Flagellants would march by the cathedral, shouting, "The end of the world is at hand!" filling the streets with the echoes of their torture as they lashed their naked backs with knotted cords wet with blood; and no soul but must shudder with the infection of horror as the dreadful notes of the "Dies Iioe" went sounding through the air. The narratives of the desert Fathers, the miracles wrought in convent cells, the visions of pillar saints, the thrilling accompaniments of the Crusades, and other kindred influences, made the world a perpetual mirage. The belching of a volcano was the vomit of uneasy hell. The devil stood before every tempted man, Ghosts walked in every nightly dell. Ghastly armies were seen contending where the aurora borealis hung out its bloody banners. The Huns under Attila, ravaging Southern Europe, were thought to be literal demons who had made an irruption from the pit. The metaphysician was in peril of the stake as a heretic, the natural philosopher as a magician. A belief in witchcraft and a trust in ordeals were universal, even from Pope Eugenius, who introduced the trial by cold water, and King James, who wrote volumes on magic, to the humblest monk who shuddered when passing the church crypt, and the simplest peasant who quaked in his homeward path at seeing a will o' the wisp. "Denounced by the preacher and consigned to the flames by the judge, the wizard received secret service money from the Cabinet to induce him to destroy the hostile armament as it sailed before the wind." As a vivid writer has well said, "A gloomy mist of credulity enwrapped the cathedral and the hall of justice, the cottage and the throne. In the dank shadows of the universal ignorance a thousand superstitions, like foul animals of night, were propagated and nourished."

31 Hallam, Middle Ages, ch. ix.

The beliefs and excitements of the mediaval period partook of a sort of epidemic character, diffusing and working like a contagion.32 There were numberless throngs of pilgrims to famous shrines, immense crowds about the localities of popular legends, relics, or special grace. In the magnetic sphere of such a fervid and credulous multitude, filled with the kindling interaction of enthusiasm, of course prodigies would abound, fables would flourish, and faith would be doubly generated and fortified. In commemoration of a miraculous act of virtue performed by St. Francis, the pope offered to all who should enter the church at Assisi between the eve of the 1st and the eve of the 2d of August each year that being the anniversary of the saint's achievement a free pardon for all the sins committed by them since their baptism. More than sixty thousand pilgrims sometimes flocked thither on that day. Every year some were crushed to death in the suffocating pressure at the entrance of the church. Nearly two thousand friars walked in procession; and for a series of years the pilgrimage to Portiuncula might have vied with that to the temple of Juggernaut.33

Nothing tends more to strengthen any given belief than to see it everywhere carried into practice and to act in accordance with it. Thus was it with the mediaval doctrine of the future life. Its applications and results were constantly and universally thrust into notice by the sale of indulgences and the launching of excommunications. Early in the ninth century, Charlemagne complained that the bishops and abbots forced property from foolish people by promises and threats: "Suadendo de coelestis regni beatitudine, comminando de oeterno supplicio inferni."34 The rival mendicant orders, the Franciscans and the Dominicans, acquired great riches and power by the traffic in indulgences. They even had the impudence to affirm that the members of their orders were privileged above all other men in the next world. Milton alludes to those who credited these monstrous assumptions: "And they who, to be sure of Paradise, Dying, put on the weeds of Dominic, Or in Franciscan think to pass disguised."

The Council of Basle censured the claim of the Franciscan monks that their founder annually descended to purgatory and led thence to heaven the souls of all those who had belonged to his order. The Carmelites also asserted that the Virgin Mary appeared to Simon Stockius, the general of their order, and gave him a solemn promise that the souls of such as left the world with the Carmelite scapulary upon their shoulders should be infallibly preserved from eternal damnation. Mosheim says that Pope Benedict XIV. was an open defender of this ridiculous fiction.35

If any one would appreciate the full mediaval doctrine of the future life, whether with respect to the hair drawn scholastic metaphysics by which it was defended, or with respect to the concrete forms in which the popular apprehension held it, let him read the Divina Commedia of Dante; for it is all there. Whoso with adequate insight and sympathy peruses

32 Hecker, Epidemics of the Middle Ages.

33 Quarterly Review, July, 1819: article on Monachism.

34 Perry, History of the Franks, p. 467.

35 Eccl. Hist., XIII. Century, part ii. ch. 2, sect. 29.

the pages of the immortal Florentine at whom the people pointed as he walked the streets, and said, "There goes the man who has been in hell" will not fail to perceive with what a profound sincerity the popular breast shuddered responsive to ecclesiastical threats and purgatorial woes.

The tremendous moral power of this solitary work lies in the fact that it is a series of terrific and fascinating tableaux, embodying the idea of inflexible poetic justice impartially administered upon king and varlet, pope and beggar, oppressor and victim, projected amidst the unalterable necessities of eternity, and moving athwart the lurid abyss and the azure cope with an intense distinctness that sears the gazer's eyeballs. The Divina Commedia, with a wonderful truth, also reflects the feeling of the age when it was written in this respect, that there is a grappling force of attraction, a compelling realism, about its "Purgatory" and "Hell" which are to be sought in vain in the delineations of its "Paradise." The mediaval belief in a future life had for its central thought the day of judgment, for its foremost emotion terror.36

The roots of this faith were unquestionably fertilized, and the development of this fear quickened, to a very great extent, by deliberate and systematic delusions. One of the most celebrated of these organized frauds was the gigantic one perpetrated under the auspices of the Dominican monks at Berne in 1509, the chief actors in which were unmasked and executed. Bishop Burnet has given an extremely interesting account of this affair in his volume of travels. Suffice it to say, the monks appeared at midnight in the cells of various persons, now impersonating devils, in horrid attire, breathing flames and brimstone, now claiming to be the souls of certain sufferers escaped from purgatory, and again pretending to be celebrated saints, with the Virgin Mary at their head. By the aid of mechanical and chemical arrangements, they wrought miracles, and played on the terror and credulity of the spectators in a frightful manner.37 There is every reason to suppose that such deceptions miracles in which secret speaking tubes, asbestos, and phosphorus were indispensable38 were most frequent in those ages, and were as effective as the actors were unscrupulous and the dupes unsuspicious. Here is revealed one of the foremost of the causes which made the belief of the Dark Age in the numerous appearances of ghosts and devils so common and so intense that it gave currency to the notion that the swarming spirits of purgatory were disembogued from dusk till dawn. So the Danish monarch, revisiting the pale glimpses of the moon, says to Hamlet, "I am thy father's spirit, Doom'd for a certain time to walk the night, And for the day confined to fast in fires, Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature Are burnt and purged away."

36 If any one would see in how many forms the faith in hell and in the devil appeared, let him look over the pages of the "Dictionnaire Infernal," by J. Collin de Plancy.

37 Maclaine's trans, of Mosheim's Eccl. Hist., vol. ii. p. 10, note.

38 Manufactures of the Ancients, pub. by Harper and Brothers, 1845, part iv. ch. 3.

When the shadows began to fall thick behind the sunken sun, these poor creatures were thought to spring from their beds of torture, to wander amidst the scenes of their sins or to haunt the living; but at the earliest scent of morn, the first note of the cock, they must hie to their fire again. Midnight was the high noon of ghostly and demoniac revelry on the earth. As the hour fell with brazen clang from the tower, the belated traveller, afraid of the rustle of his own dress, the echo of his own footfall, the wavering of his own shadow, afraid of his own thoughts, would breathe the suppressed invocation, "Angels and ministers of grace defend us!" as the idea crept curdling over his brain and through his veins, "It is the very witching time of night, When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out Contagion to this world."

Working in alliance with the foregoing forces of superstition was the powerful influence of the various forms of insanity which remarkably abounded in the Middle Age. The insane person, it was believed, was possessed by a demon. His ravings, his narratives, were eagerly credited; and they were usually full of infernal visions, diabolical interviews, encounters with apparitions, and every thing that would naturally arise in a deranged and preternaturally sensitive mind from the chief conceptions then current concerning the invisible world.39

The principal works of art exposed to the people were such as served to impress upon their imaginations the Church doctrine of the future life in all its fearfulness, with its vigorous dramatic points. In the cathedral at Antwerp there is a representation of hell carved in wood, whose marvellous elaborateness astonishes, and whose painful expressiveness oppresses, every beholder. With what excruciating emotions the pious crowds must have contemplated the harrowingly vivid paintings of the Inferno, by Orcagna, still to be seen in the Campo Santo of Pisa! In the cathedral at Canterbury there was a window on which was painted a detailed picture of Christ vanquishing the devils in their own domain; but we believe it has been removed. However, the visitor still sees on the fine east window of York Cathedral the final doom of the wicked, hell being painted as an enormous mouth; also in the west front of Lincoln Cathedral an ancient bas relief representing hell as a monstrous mouth vomiting flame and serpents, with two human beings walking into it. The minster at Freyburg has a grotesque bas relief over its main portal, representing the Judgment. St. Nicholas stands in the centre, and the Savior is seated above him. On the left, an angel weighs mankind in a huge pair of scales, and a couple of malicious imps try to make the human scale kick the beam. Underneath, St. Peter is ushering the good into Paradise. On the right is shown a devil, with a pig's head, dragging after him a throng of the wicked. He also has a basket on his back filled with figures whom he is in the act of flinging into a reeking caldron stirred by several imps. Hell is typified, on one side, by the jaws of a monster crammed to the teeth with reprobates, and Satan is seen sitting on his throne above them. A recent traveller writes from

39 De Boismont, Rational Hist. of Hallucivatious, ch. xiv.

Naples, "The favorite device on the church walls here is a vermilion picture of a male and a female soul, respectively up to the waist [the waist of a soul!] in fire, with an angel over each watering them from a water pot. This is meant to get money from the compassionate to pay for the saying of masses in behalf of souls in purgatory." Ruskin has described some of the church paintings of the Last Judgment by the old masters as possessing a power even now sufficient to stir every sensibility to its depths. Such works, gazed on day after day, while multitudes were kneeling beneath in the shadowy aisles, and clouds of incense were floating above, and the organ was pealing and the choir chanting in full accord, must produce lasting effects on the imagination, and thus contribute in return to the faith and fear which inspired them.

Villani as also Sismondi gives a description of a horrible representation of hell shown at Florence in 1304 by the inhabitants of San Priano, on the river Arno. The glare of flames, the shrieks of men disguised as devils, scenes of infernal torture, filled the night. Unfortunately, the scaffolding broke beneath the crowd, and many spectators were burned or drowned, and that which began as an entertaining spectacle ended as a direful reality. The whole affair is a forcible illustration of the literality with which the popular mind and faith apprehended the notion of the infernal world.

Another means by which the views we have been considering were both expressed and recommended to the senses and belief of the people was those miracle plays that formed one of the most peculiar features of the Middle Age. These plays, founded on, and meant to illustrate, Scripture narratives and theological doctrines, were at first enacted by the priests in the churches, afterwards by the various trading companies or guilds of mechanics. In 1210, Pope Gregory "forbade the clergy to take any part in the plays in churches or in the mummings at festivals." A similar prohibition was published by the Council of Treves, in 1227. The Bishop of Worms, in 1316, issued a proclamation against the abuses which had crept into the festivities of Easter, and gives a long and curious description of them.40 There were two popular festivals, of which Michelet gives a full and amusing description, one called the "Fete of the Tipsy Priests," when they elected a Bishop of Unreason, offered him incense of burned leather, sang obscene songs in the choir, and turned the altar into a dice table; the other called the "Fete of the Cuckolds," when the laymen crowned each other with leaves, the priests wore their surplices wrong side out and threw bran in each others' eyes, and the bell ringers pelted each other with biscuits. There is a religious play by Calderon, entitled "The Divine Orpheus," in which the entire Church scheme of man's fall the devil's empire, Christ's descent there, and the victorious sequel is embodied in a most effective manner. In the priestly theology and in the popular heart of those times there was no other single particular one tenth part so prominent and vivid as that of Christ's entrance after his death into hell to rescue the old saints and break down Satan's power.41

40 Early Mysteries and Latin Poems of the XII. and XIII. Centuries, edited by Thomas Wright. See the eloquent sermon on this subject preached by Luis de Granada in the sixteenth century. Ticknor's Hist. Spanish Lit., vol. iii. pp. 123-127.

Peter Lombard says, "What did the Redeemer do to the despot who had us in his bonds? He offered him the cross as a mouse trap, and put his blood on it as bait." 42 About that scene there was an incomparable fascination for every believer. Christ laid aside his Godhead and died. The devil thought he had secured a new victim, and humanity swooned in grief and despair. But, lo! the Crucified, descending to the inexorable dungeons, puts on all his Divinity, and suddenly "The captive world awakt, and founde The pris'ner loose, the jailer bounde!" 43

A large proportion of the miracle plays, or Mysteries, turned on this event. In the "Mystery of the Resurrection of Christ" occurs the following couplet: "This day the angelic King has risen, Leading the pious from their prison." 44

The title of one of the principal plays in the Towneley Mysteries is "Extractio Animarum ab Inferno." It describes Christ descending to the gates of hell to claim his own. Adam sees afar the gleam of his coming, and with his companions begins to sing for joy. The infernal porter shouts to the other demons, in alarm, "Since first that hell was made and I was put therein, Such sorrow never ere I had, nor heard I such a din. My heart begins to start; my wit it waxes thin; I am afraid we can't rejoice, these souls must from us go. Ho, Beelzebub! bind these boys: such noise was never heard in hell."

Satan vows he will dash Beelzebub's brains out for frightening him so. Meanwhile, Christ draws near, and says, "Lift up your gates, ye princes, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in." The portals fly asunder. Satan shouts up to his friends, "Dyng the dastard down;" but Beelzebub replies, "That is easily said." Jesus and the devil soon meet, face to face. A long colloquy ensues, in the course of which the latter tells the former that he knew his Father well by sight! At last Jesus frees Adam, Eve, the prophets, and others, and ascends, leaving the devil in the lowest pit, resolving that hell shall soon be fuller than before; for he will walk east and he will walk west, and he will seduce thousands from their allegiance. Another play, similar to the foregoing, but much more extensively known and acted, was called the "Harrowing of Hell." Christ and Satan appear on the stage and argue in the most approved scholastic style for the right of possession in the human race. Satan says, "Whoever purchases any thing, It belongs to him and to his children. Adam, hungry, came to me;

42 Sententia, lib. iii. distinctio 19.

43 Hone, Ancient Mysteries.

44 "Resurrexit hodie Rex angelorum Ducitur de tenebris turba piorum."

I made him do me homage: For an apple, which I gave him, He and all his race belong to me." But Christ instantly puts a different aspect on the argument, by replying, "Satan! it was mine, The apple thou gavest him. The apple and the apple tree Both were made by me. As he was purchased with my goods, With reason will I have him." 45

In a religious Mystery exhibited at Lisbon as late as the close of the eighteenth century, the following scene occurs. Cain kicks his brother Abel badly and kills him. A figure like a Chinese mandarin, seated in a chair, condemns Cain and is drawn up into the clouds. The mouth of hell then appears, like the jaws of a great dragon: amid smoke and lightning it casts up three devils, one of them having a wooden leg. These take a dance around Cain, and are very jocose, one of them inviting him to hell to take a cup of brimstone coffee, and another asking him to make up a party at whist. Cain snarls, and they tumble him and themselves headlong into the squib vomiting mouth.

Various books of accounts kept by the trading companies who celebrated these Mysteries of the expenses incurred have been published, and are exceedingly amusing. "Item: payd for kepyng of fyer at hellmothe, four pence." "For a new hoke to hang Judas, six pence." "Item: payd for mendyng and payntyng hellmouthe, two pence." "Girdle for God, nine pence." "Axe for Pilatte's son, one shilling." "A staff for the demon, one penny." "God's coat of white leather, three shillings." The stage usually consisted of three platforms. On the highest sat God, surrounded by his angels. On the next were the saints in Paradise, the intermediate state of the good after death. On the third were mere men yet living in the world. On one side of the lowest stage, in the rear, was a fearful cave or yawning mouth filled with smoke and flames, and denoting hell. From this ever and anon would issue the howls and shrieks of the damned. Amidst hideous yellings, devils would rush forth and caper about and snatch hapless souls into this pit to their doom.46 The actors, in their mock rage, sometimes leaped from the pageant into the midst of the laughing, screaming, trembling crowd. The dramatis personoe included many queer characters, such as a "Worm of Conscience," "Deadman," (representing a soul delivered from hell at the descent of Christ,) numerous "Damned Souls," dressed in flame colored garments, "Theft," "Lying," "Gluttony." But the devil himself was the favorite character; and often, when his personified vices jumped on him and pinched and cudgelled him till he roared, the mirth of the honest audience knew no bounds. For there were in the Middle Age two sides to the popular idea of the devil and of all appertaining to him. He was a soul harrowing bugbear or a rib shaking jest according to the hour and one's

45 Halliwell's edition of the Harrowing of Hell, p. 18.

46 Sharp, Essay on the Dramatic Mysteries, p. 24.

humor. Rabelais's Pantagruel is filled with irresistible burlesques of the doctrine of purgatory. The ludicrous side of this subject may be seen by reading Tarlton's "Jests" and his "Newes out of Purgatorie." 47 Glimpses of it are also to be caught through many of the humorous passages in Shakspeare. Dromio says of an excessively fat and greasy kitchen wench, "If she lives till doomsday she'll burn a week longer than the whole world!" And Falstaff, cracking a kindred joke on Bardolph's carbuncled nose, avows his opinion that it will serve as a flaming beacon to light lost souls the way to purgatory! Again, seeing a flea on the same flaming proboscis, the doughty knight affirmed it was "a black soul burning in hell fire." In this element of mediaval life, this feature of mediaval literature, a terrible belief lay under the gay raillery. Here is betrayed, on a wide scale, that natural reaction of the faculties from excessive oppression to sportive wit, from deep repugnance to superficial jesting, which has often been pointed out by philosophical observers as a striking fact in the psychological history of man.

One more active and mighty cause of the dreadful faith and fear with which the Middle Age contemplated the future life was the innumerable and frightful woes, crimes, tyrannies, instruments of torture, engines of persecution, insane superstitions, which then existed, making its actual life a hell. The wretchedness and cruelty of the present world were enough to generate frightful beliefs and cast appalling shadows over the future. If the earth was full of devils and phantoms, surely hell must swarm worse with them. The Inquisition sat shrouded and enthroned in supernatural obscurity of cunning and awfulness of power, and thrust its invisible daggers everywhere. The facts men knew here around them gave credibility to the imagery in which the hereafter was depicted. The flaming stakes of an Auto da Fe around which the victims of ecclesiastical hatred writhed were but faint emblems of what awaited their souls in the realm of demons whereto the tender mercies of the Church consigned them. Indeed, the fate of myriads of heretics and traitors could not fail to project the lurid vision of hell with all its paraphernalia into the imaginations of the people of the Dark Age. The glowing lava of purgatory heated the soil they trod, and a smell of its sulphur surcharged the air. A stupendous revelation of terror, bearing whole volumes of direful meaning, is given in the single fact that it was a common belief of that period that the holy Inquisitors would sit with Christ in the judgment at the last day.48 If king or noble took offence at some uneasy retainer or bold serf, he ordered him to be secretly buried in the cell of some secluded fortress, and he was never heard of more. So, if pope or priest hated or feared some stubborn thinker, he straightway, "Would banish him to wear a burning chain In the great dungeons of the unforgiven, Beneath the space deep castle walls of heaven."

It was an age of cruelty, never to be restored, when the world was boiling in tempest and men rode on the crests of fear.

47 Recently edited by Halliwell and published by the Shakspeare Society.

48 Hagenbach, Dogmengeschichte, sect. 205.

Researches made within the last century among the remains of famous mediaval edifices, both ecclesiastic and state, have brought to light the dismal records of forgotten horrors. In many a royal palace, priestly building, and baronial castle, there were secret chambers full of infernal machinery contrived for inflicting tortures, and under them concealed trap doors opening into rayless dungeons with no outlet and whose floors were covered with the mouldering bones of unfortunate wretches who had mysteriously disappeared long ago and tracelessly perished there. Sometimes these trap doors were directly above profound pits of water, in which the victim would drown as he dropped from the mangling hooks, racks, and pincers of the torture chamber. There were horrible rumors current in the Middle Age of a machine called the "Virgin," used for putting men to death; but little was known about it, and it was generally supposed to be a fable, until, some years ago one of the identical machines was discovered in an old Austrian castle. It was a tall wooden woman, with a painted face, which the victim was ordered to kiss. As he approached to offer the salute, he trod on a spring, causing the machine to fly open, stretch out a pair of iron arms, and draw him to its breast covered with a hundred sharp spikes, which pierced him to death.49

Ignorance and alarm, in a suffering and benighted age, surrounded by sounds of superstition and sights of cruelty, must needs breed and foster a horrid faith in regard to the invisible world. Accordingly, the common doctrine of the future life prevailing in Christendom from the ninth century till the sixteenth was as we have portrayed it. Of course there are exceptions to be admitted and qualifications to be made; but, upon the whole, the picture is faithful. Fortunately, intellect and soul could not slumber forever, nor the mediaval nightmares always keep their torturing seat on the bosom of humanity. Noble men arose to vindicate the rights of reason and the divinity of conscience. The world was circumnavigated, and its revolution around the sun was demonstrated. A thousand truths were discovered, a thousand inventions introduced. Papacy tottered, its prestige waned, its infallibility sunk. The light of knowledge shone, the simplicity of nature was seen, and the benignity of God was surmised. Thought, throwing off many restrictions and accumulating much material, began to grow free, and began to grow wise. And so, before the calm, steady gaze of enlightened and cheerful reason, the live and crawling smoke of hell, which had so long enwreathed the mind of the time with its pendent and breathing horrors, gradually broke up and dissolved, "Like a great superstitious snake, uncurled From the pale temples of the awakening world."

49 The Kiss of the Virgin, in the Archaologia published by the Antiquaries of London, vol. xxviii.

Doctrine of A Future Life in the Apocalypse

BEFORE attempting to exhibit the doctrine of a future life contained in the Apocalypse, we propose to give a brief account of what is contained, relating to this subject, in the Epistle of James, the Epistle of Jude, and the (so called) Second Epistle of Peter.

The references made by James to the group of points included under the general theme of the Future Life are so few and indirect, or vague, that it is impossible to construct any thing like a complete doctrine from them, save by somewhat arbitrary and uncertain suppositions. His purpose in writing, evidently, was practical exhortation, not dogmatic instruction. His epistle contains no expository outline of a system; but it has allusions and hints which plainly imply some partial views belonging to a system, while the other parts of it are left obscure. He says that "evil desire brings forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death." But whether he intended this text as a moral metaphor to convey a spiritual meaning, or as a literal statement of a physical fact, or as a comprehensive enunciation including both these ideas, there is nothing in the context positively to determine. He offers not the faintest clew to his conception of the purpose of the death and resurrection of Christ. He uses the word for the Jewish hell but once, and then, undeniably, in a figurative sense, saying that a "curbless and defiling tongue is set on fire of Gehenna." He appears to adopt the common notion of his contemporary countrymen in regard to demoniacal existences, when he declares that "the devils believe there is one God, and tremble," and when he exclaims, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." He insists on the necessity of a faith that evinces itself in good works and in all the virtues, as the means of acceptance with God. He compares life to a vanishing vapor, denounces terribly the wicked and dissolute rich men who wanton in crimes and oppress the poor. Then he calls on the suffering brethren to be patient under their afflictions "until the coming of the Lord;" to abstain from oaths, be fervent in prayer, and establish their hearts, "for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." "Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the Judge standeth before the door." Here the return of Christ, to finish his work, sit in judgment, accept some, and reject others, is clearly implied. And if James held this element of the general scheme of eschatology held by the other apostles as shown in their epistles, it is altogether probable that he also embraced the rest of that scheme. There are no means of definitely ascertaining whether he did or did not; though, according to a very learned and acute theologian, another fundamental part of that general system of doctrine is to be found in the last verse of the epistle, where James says that "he who converts a sinner from the error of his ways shall save a soul from death and hide a multitude of sins." Bretschneider thinks that saving a soul from death here means rescuing it from a descent into the under world, the word death being often used in the New Testament as by the Rabbins to denote the subterranean abode of the dead.1 This

1 Bretschneider, Religiose Glaubenslehre, sect. 59.

interpretation may seem forced to an unlearned reader, who examines the text for personal profit, but will not seem at all improbable to one who, to learn its historic meaning, reads the text in the lighted foreground of a mind over whose background lies a fitly arranged knowledge of all the materials requisite for an adequate criticism. For such a man was Bretschneider himself.

The eschatological implications and references in the Epistle of Jude are of pretty much the same character and extent as those which we have just considered. A thorough study and analysis of this brief document will show that it may be fairly divided into three heads and be regarded as having three objects. First, the writer exhorts his readers "to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints," "to remember the words of Christ's apostles," "to keep themselves in the love of God, looking for eternal life." He desires to stir them up to diligence in efforts to preserve their doctrinal purity and their personal virtue. Secondly, he warns them of the fearful danger of depravity, pride, and lasciviousness. This warning he enforces by several examples of the terrible judgments of God on the rebellious and wicked in other times. Among these instances is the case of the Cities of the Plain, eternally destroyed by a storm of fire for their uncleanness; also the example of the fallen angels, "who kept not their first estate, but left their proper habitation, and are reserved in everlasting chains and darkness unto the judgment of the great day." The writer here adopts the doctrine of fallen angels, and the connected views, as then commonly received among the Jews. This doctrine is not of Christian origin, but was drawn from Persian and other Oriental sources, as is abundantly shown, with details, in almost every history of Jewish opinions, in almost every Biblical commentary.2 In this connection Jude cites a legend from an apocryphal book, called the "Ascension of Moses," of which Origen gives an account.3 The substance of the tradition is, that, at the decease of Moses, Michael and Satan contended whether the body should be given over to death or be taken up to heaven. The appositeness of this allusion is, that, while in this strife the archangel dared not rail against Satan, yet the wicked men whom Jude is denouncing do not hesitate to blaspheme the angels and to speak evil of the things which they know not. "Woe unto such ungodly men: gluttonous spots, dewless clouds, fruitless trees plucked up and twice dead, they are ordained to condemnation." Thirdly, the epistle announces the second coming of Christ, in the last time, to establish his tribunal. The Prophecy of Enoch an apocryphal book, recovered during the present century is quoted as saying, "Behold, the Lord cometh, with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict the ungodly of their ungodly deeds."4 Jude, then, anticipated the return of the Lord, at "the judgment of the great day," to judge the world; considered the under world, or abode of the dead, not as a region of fire, but a place of imprisoning gloom, wherein "to defiled and blaspheming dreamers is reserved the blackness of darkness forever;"

2 E. g. Stuart's Dissertation on the Angelology of the Scriptures, published in vol. i. of the Bibliotheca Sacra.

3 De Principiis, lib. iii. cap 2. See, also, in Michaelis's Introduction to the New Testament, sect. 4 of the chapter on Jude.

4 Book of Enoch, translated by Dr. R. Laurence, cap. ii.

thought it imminently necessary for men to be diligent in striving to secure their salvation, because "all sensual mockers, not having the spirit, but walking after their own ungodly lusts," would be lost. He probably expected that, when all free contingencies were past and Christ had pronounced sentence, the condemned would be doomed eternally into the black abyss, and the accepted would rise into the immortal glory of heaven. He closes his letter with these significant words, which plainly imply much of what we have just been setting forth: "Everlasting honor and power, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be unto God, who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the face of his glory with exceeding joy."5

The first chapter of the so called Second Epistle of Peter is not occupied with theological propositions, but with historical, ethical, and practical statements and exhortations. These are, indeed, of such a character, and so expressed, that they clearly presuppose certain opinions in the mind of the writer. First, he evidently believed that a merciful and holy message had been sent from God to men by Jesus Christ, whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises." The substance of these promises was "a call to escape the corruption of the world, and enter into glory and be partakers of the Divine nature." By partaking of the Divine nature, we understand the writer to mean entering the Divine abode and condition, ascending into the safe and eternal joy of the celestial prerogatives. That the author here denotes heaven by the term glory, as the other New Testament writers frequently do, appears distinctly from the seventeenth and eighteenth verses of the chapter, where, referring to the incident at the baptism of Jesus, he declares, "There came a voice from the excellent glory, saying, 'This is my beloved Son;' and this voice, which came from heaven, we heard." Secondly, our author regarded this glorious promise as contingent on the fulfilment of certain conditions. It was to be realized by means of "faith, courage, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, kindness, and love." "He that hath these things shall never fall," "but an entrance shall be ministered unto him abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." The writer furnishes us no clew to his idea of the particular part performed by Christ in our salvation. He says not a word concerning the sufferings or death of the Savior; and the extremely scanty and indefinite allusions made to the relation in which Christ was supposed to stand between God and men, and the redemption and reconciliation of men with God, do not enable us to draw any dogmatic conclusions. He speaks of "false teachers, who shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them." But whether by this last phrase he means to imply a ransom of imprisoned souls from the under world by Christ's descent thither and victory over its powers, or a purchased exemption of sinners from their merited doom by the vicarious sufferings of Christ's death, or a practical regenerative redemption of disciples from their sins by the moral influences of his mission, his teachings, example, and character, there is nothing in the epistle clearly to decide; though, forming our judgment by the aid of other sources of information, we should conclude in favor of the first of these three conceptions as most probably expressing the writer's thought.

5 Griesbuch's reading of the 25th verse of Jude.

The second chapter of the epistle is almost an exact parallel with the Epistle of Jude: in many verses it is the same, word for word. It threatens "unclean, self willed, unjust, and blaspheming men," that they shall "be reserved unto the day of judgment, to be punished." It warns such persons by citing the example of the rebellious "angels, who were thrust down into Tartarus, and fastened in chains of darkness until the judgment." It speaks of "cursed children, to whom is reserved the mist of darkness forever." Herein, plainly enough, is betrayed the common notion of the Jews of that time, the conception of a dismal under world, containing the evil angels of the Persian theology, and where the wicked were to be remanded after judgment and eternally imprisoned.

The third and last chapter is taken up with the doctrine of the second coming of Christ. "Be mindful of the words of the prophets and apostles, knowing this first, that in the last days there shall be scoffers, who will say, 'Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as from the beginning.'" The writer meets this skeptical assertion with denial, and points to the Deluge, "whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished." His argument is, the world was thus destroyed once, therefore it may be destroyed again. He then goes on to assert positively relying for authority on old traditions and current dogmas that "the heavens and the earth which are now are kept by the word of God in store to be destroyed by fire in the day of judgment, when the perdition of ungodly men shall be sealed." "The delay of the Lord to fulfil his promise is not from procrastination, but from his long suffering who is not willing that any should perish." He waits "that all may come to repentance." But his patience will end, and "the day of God come as a thief in the night, when the heavens, being on fire, shall pass away with a crash, and the elements melt with fervent heat." There are two ways in which these declarations may be explained, though in either case the events they refer to are to occur in connection with the physical reappearance of Christ. First, they may be taken in a highly figurative sense, as meaning the moral overthrow of evil and the establishment of righteousness in the world. Similar expressions were often used thus by the ancient Hebrew prophets, who describe the triumphs of Israel and the destruction of their enemies, the Edomites or the Assyrians, by the interposition of Jehovah's arm, in such phrases as these. "The mountains melt, the valleys cleave asunder like wax before a fire, like waters poured over a precipice." "The heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll, all their hosts shall melt away and fall down; for Jehovah holdeth a great slaughter in the land of Edom: her streams shall be turned into pitch, and her dust into brimstone, and her whole land shall become burning pitch." The suppression of Satan's power and the setting up of the Messiah's kingdom might, according to the prophetic idiom, be expressed in awful images of fire and woe, the destruction of the old, and the creation of a new, heaven and earth. But, secondly, this phraseology, as used by the writer of the epistle before us, may have a literal significance, may have been intended to predict strictly that the world shall be burned and purged by fire at the second coming of the Lord. That such a catastrophe would take place in the last day, or occurred periodically, was notoriously the doctrine of the Persians and of the Stoics.6 For our own part, we are convinced that the latter is the real meaning of the writer. This seems to be shown alike by the connection of his argument, by the prosaic literality of detail with which he speaks, and by the earnest exhortations he immediately bases on the declaration he has made. He reasons that, since the world was destroyed once by water, it may be again by fire. The deluge he certainly regarded as literal: was not, then, in his conception, the fire, too, literal? He says, with calm, prosaic precision, "The earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing, then, that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holiness, looking for a new heaven and a new earth, and striving that ye may be found by him in peace, without spot, and blameless!" We do not suppose this writer expected the annihilation of the physical creation, but only that the fire would destroy all unransomed creatures from its surface, and thoroughly purify its frame, and make it clean and fit for a new race of sinless and immortal men.

"Tears shall not break from their full source,
Nor Anguish stray from her Tartarean den,
The golden years maintain a course
Not undiversified, though smooth and even,
We not be mock'd with glimpse and shadow then,
Bright seraphs mix familiarly with men,
And earth and sky compose a universal heaven."

We have now arrived at the threshold of the last book in the New Testament, that book which, in the words of Lucke, "lies like a Sphinx at the lofty outgate of the Bible." There are three modes of interpreting the Apocalypse, each of which has had numerous and distinguished advocates. First, it may be regarded as a congeries of inspired prophecies, a scenic unfolding, with infallible foresight, of the chief events of Christian history from the first century till now, and onwards. This view the combined effect of the facts in the case and of all the just considerations appropriate to the subject compels us to reject. There is no evidence to support it; the application of it is crowded with egregious follies and absurdities. We thus simply state the result of our best investigation and judgment, for there is no space here to discuss it in detail. Secondly, the book may be taken as a symbolic exhibition of the transitional crises, exposures, struggles, and triumphs of the individual soul, a description of personal experience, a picture of the inner life of the Christian in a hostile world. The contents of it can be made to answer to such a characterization only by the determined exercise of an unrestrained fancy, or by the theory of a double sense, as the Swedenborgians expound it. This method of interpreting the Revelation is adopted, not by scholarly thinkers, who, by the light of learning and common sense, seek to discern what the writer meant to express, but by those persons who go to the obscure document, with traditional superstition and lawless imaginations, to see what lessons they can find there for their experimental guidance and edification. We suppose that every intelligent and informed student who has

6 Cicero de Nat. Deorum, lib. ii. cap. 46. Also Ovid, Minucius Felix, Seneca, and other authorities, as quoted by Rosenmuller on 2 Peter iii. 7.

examined the subject with candid independence holds it as an exegetical axiom that the Apocalypse is neither a pure prophecy, blazing full illumination from Patmos along the track of the coming centuries, nor an exhaustive vision of the experience of the faithful Christian disciple. We are thus brought to the third and, as we think, the correct mode of considering this remarkable work. It is an outburst from the commingled and seething mass of opinions, persecutions, hopes, general experience, and expectation of the time when it was written. This is the view which would naturally arise in the mind of an impartial student from the nature of the case, and from contemplating the fervid faith, suffering, lowering elements, and thick coming events of the apostolic age. It also strikingly corresponds with numerous express statements and with the whole obvious spirit and plan of the work; for its descriptions and appeals have the vivid colors, the thrilling tones, the significantly detailed allusions to experiences and opinions and anticipations notoriously existing at the time, which belong to present or immediately impending scenes. This way of considering the Apocalypse likewise enables one who is acquainted with the early Jewish Christian doctrines, legends, and hopes, to explain clearly a large number of passages in it whose obscurity has puzzled many a commentator. We should be glad to give various illustrations of this, if our limits did not confine us strictly to the one class of texts belonging to the doctrine of a future life. Furthermore, nearly all the most gifted critics, such as Ewald, Bleek, Lucke, De Wette, those whose words on such matters as these are weightiest, now agree in concluding that the Revelation of John was a product springing out of the intense Jewish Christian belief and experience of the age, and referring, in its dramatic scenery and predictions, to occurrences supposed to be then transpiring or very close at hand. Finally, this view in regard to the Apocalypse is strongly confirmed by a comparison of that production with the several other works similar to it in character and nearly contemporaneous in origin. These apocryphal productions were written or compiled according to the pretty general agreement of the great scholars who have criticized them somewhere between the beginning of the first century before, and the middle of the second century after, Christ. We merely propose here, in the briefest manner, to indicate the doctrine of a future life contained in them, as an introduction to an exposition of that contained in the New Testament Apocalypse.

In the TESTAMENT OF THE TWELVE PATRIARCHS it is written that "the under world shall be spoiled through the death of the Most Exalted."7 Again, we read, "The Lord shall make battle against the devil, and conquer him, and rescue from him the captive souls of the righteous. The just shall rejoice in Jerusalem, where the Lord shall reign himself, and every one that believes in him shall reign in truth in the heavens."8 Farther on the writer says of the Lord, after giving an account of his crucifixion, "He shall rise up from the under world and ascend into heaven."9 These extracts seem to imply the common doctrine of that time, that Christ descended into the under world, freed the captive saints, and rose into heaven, and would soon return to establish his throne in Jerusalem, to reign there for a time with his accepted followers.

7 See this book in Fabricii Codex Pseudepigraphus Veteris Testamenti, Test. Lev. sect. iv.

8 Ibid. Test. Dan. sect. v.

9 Ibid. Test. Benj. sect. ix.

The FOURTH BOOK OF EZRA contains scattered declarations and hints of the same nature.10 It describes a vision of the Messiah, on Mount Zion, distributing crowns to those confessors of his name who had died in their fidelity.11 The world is said to be full of sorrows and oppressions; and as the souls of the just ask when the harvest shall come,12 for the good to be rewarded and the wicked to be punished, they are told that the day of liberation is not far distant, though terrible trials and scourges must yet precede it. "My Son Jesus shall be revealed." "My Son the Christ shall die; and then a new age shall come, the earth shall give up the dead, sinners shall be plunged into the bottomless abyss, and Paradise shall appear in all its glory."13 The "Son of God will come and consume his enemies with fire; but the elect will be protected and made happy."14

The ASCENSION OF ISAIAH is principally occupied with an account of the rapture of the soul of that prophet through the seven heavens, and of what he there saw and learned. It describes the descent of Christ, the beloved Son of God, through all the heavens, to the earth; his death; his resurrection after three days; his victory over Satan and his angels, who dwell in the welkin or higher region of the air; and his return to the right hand of God.15 It predicts great apostasy and sin among the disciples of the apostles, and much dissension respecting the nearness of the second advent of Christ.16 It emphatically declares that "Christ shall come with his angels, and shall drag Satan and his powers into Gehenna. Then all the saints shall descend from heaven in their heavenly clothing, and dwell in this world; while the saints who had not died shall be similarly clothed, and after a time leave their bodies here, that they may assume their station in heaven. The general resurrection and judgment will follow, when the ungodly will be devoured by fire."17 The author as Gesenius, with almost all the rest of the critics, says was unquestionably a Jewish Christian, and his principal design was to set forth the speedy second coming of Christ, and the glorious triumph of the saints that would follow with the condign punishment of the wicked.

The first book of the SIBYLLINE ORACLES contains a statement that in the golden age the souls of all men passed peacefully into the under world, to tarry there until the judgment; a prediction of a future Messiah; and an account of his death, resurrection, and ascension. The second book begins with a description of the horrors that will precede the last time, threats against the persecuting tyrants, and promises to the faithful, especially to the martyrs, and closes with an account of the general judgment, when Elijah shall come from heaven, consuming flames break out, all souls be summoned to the tribunal of God at whose right hand Christ will sit, the bodies of the dead be raised, the righteous be purified, and the wicked be plunged into final ruin.

The fundamental thought and aim of the apocryphal BOOK OF ENOCH are the second coming of Christ to judge the world, the encouragement of the Christians, and the warning

10 See the abstract of it given in section vi. of Stuart's Commentary on the Apocalypse.

11 Cap. ii. 12 Cap. iv. 13 Cap. v., vii. 14 Cap. xiii., xvi.

15 Ascensio Isaia Vatis, a Ricardo Laurence, cap. ix., x., xi.

16 Ibid. cap. ii., iii.

17 Ibid. cap. iv. 13-18.

of their oppressors by declarations of approaching deliverance to those and vengeance to these. This is transparent at frequent intervals through the whole book.18 "Ye righteous, wait with patient hope: your cries have cried for judgment, and it shall come, and the gates of heaven shall be opened to you." "Woe to you, powerful oppressors, false witnesses! for you shall suddenly perish." "The voices of slain saints accusing their murderers, the oppressors of their brethren, reach to heaven with interceding cries for swift justice."19 When that justice comes, "the horse shall wade up to his breast, and the chariot shall sink to its axle, in the blood of sinners."20 The author teaches that the souls of men at death go into the under world, "a place deep and dark, where all souls shall be collected;" "where they shall remain in darkness till the day of judgment," the spirits of the righteous being in peace and joy, separated from the tormented spirits of the wicked, who have spurned the Messiah and persecuted his disciples.21 A day of judgment is at hand. "Behold, he cometh, with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment." Then the righteous shall rise from the under world, be approved, become as angels, and ascend to heaven. But the wicked shall not rise: they remain imprisoned below forever.22 The angels descend to earth to dwell with men, and the saints ascend to heaven to dwell with angels.23 "From beginning to end, like the Apocalypse, the book is filled," says Professor Stuart, (and the most careless reader must remark it,) "with threats for the wicked persecutors and consolations for the suffering pious." A great number of remarkable correspondences between passages in this book and passages in the Apocalypse solicit a notice which our present single object will not allow us to give them here. An under world divided into two parts, a happy for the good, a wretched for the bad; temporary woes prevailing on the earth; the speedy advent of Christ for a vindication of his power and his servants; the resurrection of the dead; the final translation of the accepted into heaven, and the hopeless dooming of the rejected into the abyss, these are the features in the book before us which we are now to remember.

There is one other extant apocryphal book whose contents are strictly appropriate to the subject we have in hand, namely, the APOCALYPSE OF JOHN.24 It claims to be the work of the Apostle John himself. It represents John as going to Mount Tabor after the ascension of Christ, and there praying that it may be revealed to him when the second coming of Christ will occur, and what will be the consequences of it. In answer to his request, a long and minute disclosure is made. The substance of it is, that, after famines and woes, Antichrist will appear and reign three years. Then Enoch and Elijah will come to expose him; but they will die, and all men with them. The earth will be purified with fire, the dead will rise, Christ

18 Book of Enoch, translated into English by Dr. R. Laurence. See particularly the following places: i. 1 5; lii. 7; liv. 12; lxi. 15; lxii. 14, 15; xciv.; xcv.; civ.

19 Ibid. cap. ix. 9 11; xxii. 5 8; xlvii. 1-4.

20 Ibid. cap. xcviii. 3.

21 Ibid. cap. x. 6 9, 15, 16; xxii. 2 5, 11 13; cii. 6; ciii. 5.

22 Ibid. cap. xxii. 14, 15; xlv. 2; xlvi. 4; 1. 1-4.

23 cap. xxxviii. xl.

24 See the abstract of it given in Lucke's Einleit. in die Offenbar. Joh., cap. 2, sect. 17.

will descend in pomp, with myriads of angels, and the judgment will follow. The spirits of Antichrist will be hurled into a gulf of outer darkness, so deep that a heavy stone would not plunge to the bottom in three years. Unbelievers, sinners, hypocrites, will be cast into the under world; while true Christians are placed at the right hand of Christ, all radiant with glory. The good and accepted will then dwell in an earthly paradise, with angels, and be free from all evils.

In addition to these still extant Apocalypses, we have references in the works of the Fathers to a great many others long since perished; especially the Apocalypses of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Hystaspes, Paul, Peter, Thomas, Cerinthus, and Stephen. So far as we have any clew, by preserved quotations or otherwise, to the contents of these lost productions, they seem to have been much occupied with the topics of the avenging and redeeming advent of the Messiah, the final judgment of mankind, the supernal and subterranean localities, the resurrection of the dead, the inauguration of an earthly paradise, the condemnation of the reprobate to the abyss beneath, the translation of the elect to the Angelic realm on high. These works, all taken together, were plainly the offspring of the mingled mass of glowing faiths, sufferings, fears, and hopes, of the age they belonged to. An acquaintance with them will help us to appreciate and explain many things in our somewhat kindred New Testament Apocalypse, by placing us partially in the circumstances and mental attitude of the writer and of those for whom it was written.

The Persian Jewish and Jewish Christian notions and characteristics of the Book of Revelation are marked and prevailing, as every prepared reader must perceive. The threefold division of the universe into the upper world of the angels, the middle world of men, and the under world of the dead; the keys of the bottomless pit; the abode of Satan, the accuser, in heaven; his revolt; the war in the sky between his seduced host and the angelic army under Michael, and the thrusting down of the former; the banquet of birds on the flesh of kings, mighty men, and horses; the battle of Gog and Magog; the tarrying of souls under the altar of God; the temple in heaven containing the ark of the covenant, and the scene of a various ritual service; the twelve gates of the celestial city bearing the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, and the twelve foundations of the walls having the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb; the bodily resurrection and general judgment, and the details of its sequel, all these doctrines and specimens of imagery, with a hundred others, carry us at once into the Zend Avesta, the Talmud, and the Ebionitish documents of the earliest Christians, who mixed their interpretations of the mission and teaching of Christ with the poetic visions of Zoroaster and the cabalistic dogmatics of the Pharisees. 25

It is astonishing that any intelligent person can peruse the Apocalypse and still suppose that it is occupied with prophecies of remote events, events to transpire successively in distant ages and various lands. Immediateness, imminency, hazardous urgency, swiftness, alarms, are written all over the book. A suspense, frightfully thrilling, fills it, as if the world were holding its breath in view of the universal crash that was coming with electric velocity.

25 See, e. g., Corrodi, Kritische Geschichte des Chiliasmus, band ii. th. 3 7; Gfrorer, Geschichte Urchristenthums, abth. ii. kap. 8 10; Schottgen in Apoc. xii. 6 9; ibid. in 2 Cor. v. 2.

Four words compose the key to the Apocalypse: Rescue, Reward, Overthrow, Vengeance. The followers of Christ are now persecuted and slain by the tyrannical rulers of the earth. Let them be of good cheer: they shall speedily be delivered. Their tyrants shall be trampled down in "blood flowing up to the horse bridles," and they shall reign in glory. "Here is the faith and the patience of the saints," trusting that, if "true unto death, they shall have a crown of life," and "shall not be hurt of the second death," but shall soon rejoice over the triumphant establishment of the Messiah's kingdom and the condign punishment of his enemies who are now "making themselves drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." The Beast, described in the thirteenth chapter, is unquestionably Nero; and this fact shows the expected immediateness of the events pictured in connection with the rise and destruction of that monstrous despot.26 The truth of this representation is sealed by the very first verses of the book, indicating the nature of its contents and the period to which they refer: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass: Blessed are they who hear the words of this prophecy and keep them; for the time is at hand."

This rescue and reward of the faithful, this overthrow and punishment of the wicked, were to be effected by the agency of a unique and sublime personage, who was expected very soon to appear, with an army of angels from heaven, for this purpose. The conception of the nature, rank, and offices of Jesus Christ which existed in the mind of the writer of the Apocalypse is in some respects but obscurely hinted in the words he employs; yet the relationship of those words to other and fuller sources of information in the contemporaneous notions of his countrymen is such as to give us great help in arriving at his ideas. He represents Christ as distinct from and subordinate to God. He makes Christ say, "To him that overcometh I will give power over the nations, even as I received of my Father." He characterizes him as "the beginning of the creation of God," and describes him as "mounted on a white horse, leading the heavenly armies to war, and his name is called the Logos of God." These terms evidently correspond to the phrases in the introduction to the Gospel of John, and in the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon, where are unfolded some portions of that great doctrine, so prevalent among the early Fathers, which was borrowed and adapted by them from the Persian Honover, the Hebrew Wisdom, and the Platonic Logos.27 "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and all things were made by him;… and the Logos was made flesh and dwelt among us."28 "God of our fathers, and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things by thy Logos."29 "Thine almighty Logos leaped down from heaven from his royal throne, a fierce warrior, into the midst of a land of destruction."30 "Plainly enough, the Apocalyptic view of Christ is based on that profound Logos doctrine so copiously

26 See the excursus by Stuart in his Commentary on the Apoc. xiii. 18, which conclusively shows that the Beast could be no other than Nero.

27 Lucke, Einleitung in das Evang. Joh.

28 Evang. Joh. i. 1, 3, 14.

29 Wisdom of Solomon, ix. 1, 2.

30 Ibid. xviii. 15.

developed in the writings of Philo Judaus and so distinctly endorsed in numerous passages of the New Testament. First, there is the absolute God. Next, there is the Logos, the first begotten Son and representative image of God, the instrumental cause of the creation, the head of all created beings. This Logos, born into our world as a man, is Christ. Around him are clustered all the features and actions that compose the doctrine of the last things. The vast work of redemption and judgment laid upon him has in part been already executed, and in part remains yet to be done.

We are first to inquire, then, into the significance of what the writer of the Apocalypse supposes has already been effected by Christ in his official relations between God and men, so far as regards the general subject of a life beyond the grave. A few brief and vague but comprehensive expressions include all that he has written which furnishes us a guide to his thoughts on this particular. He describes Jesus, when advanced to his native supereminent dignity in heaven, as the "Logos, clothed in a vesture dipped in blood," and also as "the Lamb that was slain," to whom the celestial throng sing a new song, saying, "Thou hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood." Christ, he says, "loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." He represents the risen Savior as declaring, "I am he that liveth, and was dead, and, behold, I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of the under world and of death." "Jesus Christ," again he writes, "is the faithful witness, the first begotten from the dead." What, now, is the real meaning of these pregnant phrases? What is the complete doctrine to which fragmentary references are here made? We are confident that it is this. Mankind, in consequence of sin, were alienated from God, and banished, after death, to Hades, the subterranean empire of shadows. Christ, leaving his exalted state in heaven, was born into the world as a messenger, or "faithful witness," of surprising grace to them from God, and died that he might fulfil his mission as the agent of their redemption, by descending into the great prison realm of the dead, and, exerting his irresistible power, return thence to light and life, and ascend into heaven as the forerunner and pledge of the deliverance and ascension of others. Moses Stuart, commenting on the clause "first begotten from the dead," says, "Christ was in fact the first who enjoyed the privilege of a resurrection to eternal glory and he was constituted the leader of all who should afterwards be thus raised from the dead."31 All who had died, with the sole exception of Christ, were yet in the under world. He, since his triumphant subdual of its power and return to heaven, possessed authority over it, and would ere long summon its hosts to resurrection, as he declares: "I was dead, and, behold, I am alive for ever more, and have the keys of the under world." The figure is that of a conqueror, who, returning from a captured and subdued city, bears the key of it with him, a trophy of his triumph and a pledge of its submission. The text "Thou hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood" is not received in an absolutely literal sense by any theological sect whatever. The severest Calvinist does not suppose that the physical blood shed on the cross is meant; but he explains it as denoting the atoning efficacy of the vicarious sufferings of Christ. But this interpretation is as forced and constructive an exposition as the one we have given, and is not

31 Stuart, Comm. in Apoc. i. 5.

warranted by the theological opinions of the apostolic age, which do, on the contrary, support and necessitate the other. The direct statement is, that men were redeemed unto God by the blood of Christ. All agree that in the word "blood" is wrapped up a figurative meaning. The Calvinistic dogma makes it denote the satisfaction of the law of retributive justice by a substitutional anguish. We maintain that a true historical exegesis, with far less violence to the use of language, and consistently with known contemporaneous ideas, makes it denote the death of Christ, and the events which were supposed to have followed his death, namely, his appearance among the dead, and his ascent to heaven, preparatory to their ascent, when they should no longer be exiled in Hades, but should dwell with God. Out of an abundance of illustrative authorities we will cite a few.

Augustine describes "the ancient saints" as being "in the under world, in places most remote from the tortures of the impious, waiting for Christ's blood and descent to deliver them."32 Epiphanius says, "Christ was the first that rose from the under world to heaven from the time of the creation."33 Lactantius affirms, "Christ's descent into the under world and ascent into heaven were necessary to give man the hope of a heavenly immortality."34 Hilary of Poictiers says, "Christ went down into Hades for two reasons: first, to fulfil the law imposed on mankind that every soul on leaving the body shall descend into the under world, and, secondly, to preach the Christian religion to the dead."35 Chrysostom writes, "When the Son of God cometh, the earth shall burst open, and all the men that ever were born, from Adam's birth up to that day, shall rise up out of the earth."36 Irenaus testifies, "I have heard from a certain presbyter, who heard it from those who had seen the apostles and received their instructions, that Christ descended into the under world, and preached the gospel and his own advent to the souls there, and remitted the sins of those who believed on him."37 Eusebius records that, "after the ascension of Jesus, Thomas sent Thaddeus, one of the Seventy, to Abgarus, King of Edessa. This disciple told the king how that Jesus, having been crucified, descended into the under world, and burst the bars which had never before been broken, and rose again, and also raised with himself the dead that had slept for ages; and how he descended alone, but ascended with a great multitude to his Father; and how he was about to come again to judge the living and the dead."38 Finally, we cite the following undeniable statement from Daille's famous work on the "Right Use of the Fathers:" "That heaven shall not be opened till the second coming of Christ and the day of judgment, that during this time the souls of all men, with a few exceptions, are shut up in the under world, was held by Justin Martyr, Irenaus, Tertullian, Augustine, Origen, Lactantius, Victorinus, Ambrose, Chrysostom, Theodoret, OEcumenius, Aretas, Prudentius, Theophylact, Bernard,

32 De Civitate Dei, lib. xx. cap. 15.

33 In Resurrectionem Christi.

34 Divin. Instit. lib. iv. cap. 19, 20.

35 Hilary in Ps. cxviii. et cxix.

36 Homil. in Rom. viii. 25.

37 Adv. Hares. lib. iv. sect. 45.

38 Ecc. Hist. lib. i. cap. 13.

and many others, as is confessed by all. This doctrine is literally held by the whole Greek Church at the present day. Nor did any of the Latins expressly deny any part of it until the Council of Florence, in the year of our Lord 1439."39

In view of these quotations, and of volumes of similar ones which might be adduced, we submit to the candid reader that the meaning most probably in the mind of the writer of the Apocalypse when he wrote the words "redemption by the Blood of Christ" was this, the rescue certified to men by the commissioned power and devoted self sacrifice of Christ in dying, going down to the mighty congregation of the dead, proclaiming good tidings, breaking the hopeless bondage of death and Hades, and ascending as the pioneer of a new way to God. If before his death all men were supposed to go down to helpless confinement in the under world on account of sin, but after his resurrection the promise of an ascension to heaven was made to them through his gospel and exemplification, then well might the grateful believers, fixing their hearts on his willing martyrdom in their behalf, exclaim, "He loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God." It is certainly far more natural, far more reasonable, to suppose that the scriptural phrase "the blood of Christ" means "the death of Christ," with its historical consequences, than to imagine that it signifies a complicated and mysterious scheme of sacerdotal or ethical expiation, especially when that scheme is unrelated to contemporaneous opinion, irreconcilable withmorality,and confessedly nowhere plainly stated in Scripture, but a matter of late and laborious construction and inference. We have not spoken of the strictly moral and subjective mission and work of Christ, as conceived by the author of the Apocalypse, his influences to cleanse the springs of character, purify and inspire the heart, rectify and elevate the motives, regenerate and sanctify the soul and the life, because all this is plain and unquestioned. But he also believed in something additional to this, an objective function: and what that was we think is correctly explained above.

We are next to inquire more immediately into the closing parts of the doctrine of the last things. Christ has appeared, declared the tidings of grace, died, visited the dead, risen victoriously, and gone back to heaven, where he now tarries. But there remain many things for him, as the eschatological King, yet to do. What are they? and what details are connected with them? First of all, he is soon to return from heaven, visiting the earth a second time. The first chapter of the book begins by declaring that it is "a revelation of things which must shortly come to pass," and "blessed is he that readeth; for the time is at hand." The last chapter is full of such repetitions as these: "things which must shortly be done;" "Behold, I come quickly;" "The time is at hand;" "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still, and he that is holy, let him be holy still;" "Surely I come quickly;" "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Herder says, in his acute and eloquent work on the Apocalypse, "There is but one voice in it, through all its epistles, seals, trumpets, signs, and plagues, namely, THE LORD IS COMING!" The souls of the martyrs, impatiently waiting, under the altar, the completion of the great drama, cry, "How long, O Lord, dost thou delay to avenge our blood?" and they are told that "they shall

39 Lib. ii. cap. 4, pp. 272, 273 of the English translation.

rest only for a little season." Tertullian writes, without a trace of doubt, "Is not Christ quickly to come from heaven with a quaking of the whole universe, with a shuddering of the world, amidst the wailings of all men save the Christians?" The Apocalyptic seer makes Christ say, "Behold, I come as a thief in the night: blessed is he that watcheth." Accordingly, "a sentinel gazed wherever a Christian prayed, and, though all the watchmen died without the sight," the expectation lingered for centuries. The Christians of the New Testament time to borrow the words of one of the most competent of living scholars "carried forward to the account of Christ in years to come the visions which his stay, as they supposed, was too short to realize, and assigned to him a quick return to finish what was yet unfulfilled. The suffering, the scorn, the rejection of men, the crown of thorns, were over and gone; the diadem, the clarion, the flash of glory, the troop of angels, were ready to burst upon the world, and might be looked for at midnight or at noon."40

Secondly, when Christ returned, he was to avenge the sufferings and reward the fidelity of his followers, tread the heathen tyrants in the wine press of his wrath, and crown the persecuted saints with a participation in his glory. When "the time of his wrath is come, he shall give reward to the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear his name, and shall destroy them that destroy the earth." "The kings, captains, mighty men, rich men, bondmen, and freemen, shall cry to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the wrath of the Lamb." "To him that overcometh, and doeth my works, I will give power over the Gentiles;" "I will give him the morning star;" "I will grant him to sit with me on my throne." Independently, moreover, of these distinct texts, the whole book is pervaded with the thought that, at the speedy second advent of the Messiah, all his enemies shall be fearfully punished, his servants eminently compensated and glorified.41

Thirdly, the writer of the Apocalypse expected in accordance with that Jewish anticipation of an earthly Messianic kingdom which was adopted with some modifications by the earliest Christians that Jesus, on his return, having subdued his foes, would reign for a season, in great glory, on the earth, surrounded by the saints. "A door was opened in heaven," and the seer looked in, and saw a vision of the redeemed around the throne, and heard them "singing a new song unto the Lamb that was slain," in the course of which, particularizing the favors obtained for them by him, they say, "We shall reign upon the earth." Again, the writer says that "the worshippers of the beast and of his image shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb." Now, the lake of sulphurous fire into which the reprobate were to be thrust was located, not in the sky, but under the surface of the earth. The foregoing statement, therefore, implies that Christ and his angels would be tarrying on the earth when the final woe of the condemned was inflicted. But we need not rely on indirect arguments. The writer explicitly declares

40 Martineau, Sermon, "The God of Revelation his own Interpreter."

41 It seems to have been a Jewish expectation that when the Messiah should appear he would thrust his enemies into Hades. In a passage of the Talmud Satan is represented as seeing the Messiah under the Throne of Glory: he falls on his face at the sight, exclaiming, "This is the Messiah, who will precipitate me and all the Gentiles into the under world." Bertholdt, Christologia, sect. 36.

that, in his vision of what was to take place, the Christian martyrs, "those who were slain for the witness of Jesus, lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years, while the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Then Satan was loosed out of his prison, and gathered the hosts of Gog and Magog to battle, and went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about, and fire came down out of heaven and devoured them." It seems impossible to avoid seeing in this passage a plain statement of the millennial reign of Christ on the earth with his risen martyrs.

Fourthly, at the termination of the period just referred to, the author of the Apocalypse thought all the dead would be raised and the tribunal of the general judgment held. As Lactantius says, "All souls are detained in custody in the under world until the last day; then the just shall rise and reign; afterwards there will be another resurrection of the wicked."42 "The time of the dead is come, that they should be judged." "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened, and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and the under world delivered up the dead which were in them, and they were judged, every man according to his works." "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and reign with him a thousand years." This text, with its dark and tacit reference by contrast to those who have no lot in the millennial kingdom, brings us to the next step in our exposition.

For, fifthly, after the general resurrection and judgment at the close of the thousand years, the sentence of a hopeless doom to hell is to be executed on the condemned. "Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." "The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death." The "second death" is a term used by Onkelos in his Targum,43 and sometimes in the Talmud, and by the Rabbins generally. It denotes, as employed by them, the return of the wicked into hell after their summons thence for judgment.44 In the Apocalypse, its relative meaning is this. The martyrs, who were slain for their allegiance to the gospel, died once, and descended into the under world, the common realm of death. At the coming of Christ they were to rise and join him, and to die no more. This was the first resurrection. At the close of the millennium, all the rest of the dead were to rise and be judged, and the rejected portion of them were to be thrust back again below. This was a second death for them, a fate from which the righteous were exempt. There was a difference, greatly for the worse in the latter, between their condition in the two deaths. In the former they descended to the dark under world, the silent and temporary abode of the universal dead; but in the latter they went down "into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the devil and the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for

42 Divin. Instit. lib. vii. cap. 20, 21, 26.

43 on Deut. xxxiii. 6.

44 Gfrorer, Geschichte des Urchristenthums, kap. 10. s. 289.

ever and ever." For "Death and Hades, having delivered up the dead which were in them, were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." It is plain that here the common locality of departed souls is personified as two demons, Death and Hades, and the real thought meant to be conveyed is, that this region is to be sunk beneath a "Tartarean drench," which shall henceforth roll in burning billows over its victims there, "the smoke of their torment ascending up for ever and ever." This awful imagery of a lake of flaming sulphur, in which the damned were plunged, was of comparatively late origin or adoption among the Jews, from whom the Christians received it. The native Hebrew conception of the state of the dead was that of the voiceless gloom and dismal slumber of Sheol, whither all alike went. The notion of fiery tortures inflicted there on the wicked was either conceived by the Pharisees from the loathed horrors of the filth fire kept in the vale of Hinnom, outside of Jerusalem, (which is the opinion of most commentators,) or was imagined from the sea of burning brimstone that showered from heaven and submerged Sodom and Gomorrah in a vast fire pool, (which is maintained by Bretschneider and others,) or was derived from the Egyptians, or the Persians, or the Hindus, or the Greeks, all of whom had lakes and rivers of fire in their theological hells, long before history reveals the existence of such a belief among the Jews, (which is the conclusion of many learned authors and critics.)

We have now reached the last feature in the scheme of eschatology shadowed forth in the Apocalypse, the most obscure and difficult point of all, namely, the locality and the principal elements of the final felicity of the saved. The difficulty of clearly settling this question is twofold, arising, first, from the swift and partial glimpses which are all that the writer yields us on the subject, and, secondly, from the impossibility of deciding with precision how much of his language is to be regarded as figurative and how much as literal, where the poetic presentation of symbol ends and where the direct statement of fact begins. A large part of the book is certainly written in prophetic figures and images, spiritual visions, never meant to be accepted in a prosaic sense with severe detail. And yet, at the same time, all these imaginative emblems were, unquestionably, intended to foreshadow, in various kinds and degrees, doctrinal conceptions, hopes, fears, threats, promises, historical realities, past, present, or future. But to separate sharply the dress and the substance, the superimposed symbols and the underlying realities, is always an arduous, often an impossible, achievement. The writer of the Apocalypse plainly believed that the souls of all, except the martyrs, at death descended to the under world, and would remain there till after the second coming of Christ. But whether he thought that the martyrs were excepted, and would at death immediately rise into heaven and there await the fulfilment of time, is a disputed point. For our own part, we think it extremely doubtful, and should rather decide in the negative. In the first place, his expressions on this subject seem essentially figurative. He describes the prayers of the saints as being poured out from golden vials and burned as incense on a golden altar in heaven before the throne of God. "Under that altar," he says, "I saw the souls of them that were slain for the word of God." If the souls of the martyrs, in his belief, were really admitted into heaven, would he have conceived of them as huddled under the altar and not walking at liberty? Does not the whole idea appear rather like a rhetorical image than like a sober theological doctrine? True, the scene is pictured in heaven; but then it is a picture, and not a conclusion. With De Wette, we regard it, not as a dogmatic, but as a poetical and prophetic, representation. And in regard to the seer's vision of the innumerable company of the redeemed in heaven, surrounding the throne and celebrating the praises of God and the Lamb, surely it is obvious enough that this, like the other affiliated visions, is a vision, by inspired insight, in the present tense, of what is yet to occur in the successive unfolding of the rapid scenes in the great drama of Christ's redemptive work, a prophetic vision of the future, not of what already is. We know that in Tertullian's time the idea was entertained by some that Christian martyrs, as a special allotment, should pass at once from their sufferings to heaven, without going, as all others must, into the under world; but the evidence preponderates with us, upon the whole, that no such doctrine is really implied in the Apocalypse. In the fourteenth chapter, the author describes the hundred and forty four thousand who were redeemed from among men, as standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion and hearing a voice from heaven singing a new song, which no man, save the hundred and forty four thousand, could learn. The probabilities are certainly strongest that this great company of the selected "first fruits unto God and the Lamb," now standing on the earth, had not yet been in heaven; for they only learn the heavenly song which is sung before the throne by hearing it chanted down from heaven in a voice like multitudinous thunders.

Finally, the most convincing proof that the writer did not suppose that the martyrs entered heaven before the second advent of Christ a proof which, taken by itself, would seem to leave no doubt on the subject is this. In the famous scene detailed in the twentieth chapter usually called by commentators the martyr scene it is said that "the souls of them that were beheaded for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. This is the first resurrection." Now, is it not certain that if the writer supposed these souls had never been in the under world, but in heaven, he could not have designated their preliminary descent from above as "the first resurrection," the first rising up? That phrase implies, we think, that all the dead were below: the faithful and chosen ones were to rise first to reign a while with Jesus, and after that the rest should rise to be judged. After that judgment, which was expected to be on earth in presence of the descended Lamb and his angels, the lost were to be plunged, as we have already seen, into the subterranean pit of torture, the unquenchable lake of fire. But what was to become of the righteous and redeemed? Whether, by the Apocalyptic representation, they were to remain forever on earth, or to ascend into heaven, is a question which has been zealously debated for over sixteen hundred years, and in some theological circles is still warmly discussed. Were the angels who came down to the earth with Christ to the judgment never to return to their native seats? Were they permanently to transfer their deathless citizenship from the sky to Judea? Were the constitution of human nature and the essence of human society to be abrogated, and the members of the human family to cease enlarging, lest they should overflow the borders of the world? Was God himself literally to desert his ancient abode, and, with the celestial city and all its angelic hierarchy, float from the desolated firmament to Mount Zion, there to set up the central eternity of his throne. We cannot believe that such is the meaning, which the seer of the Apocalypse wished to convey by his symbolic visions and pictures, any more than we can believe that he means literally to say that he saw "a woman in heaven clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars," or that there were actually "armies in heaven, seated on white horses and clothed in fine linen, white and clean, which is the righteousness of saints." Our conviction is that he expected the Savior would ascend with his angels and the redeemed into heaven, the glorious habitation of God above the sky. He speaks in one place of the "temple of God in heaven, into which no man could enter until the seven plagues were fulfilled," and in another place says that the "great multitude of the redeemed are before the throne of God in heaven, and serve him day and night in his temple;" and in still another place he describes two prophets, messengers of God, who had been slain, as coming to life, "and hearing a great voice from heaven saying to them, 'Come up hither;' and they ascended up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them." De Wette writes, "It is certain that an abstract conception of heavenly blessedness with God duskily hovers over the New Testament eschatology." We think this is true of the Book of Revelation.

It was a Persian Jewish idea that the original destination of man, had he not sinned, was heaven. The apostles thought it was a part of the mission of Christ to restore that lost privilege. We think the writer of the Apocalypse shared in that belief. His allusions to a new heaven and a new earth, and to the descent of a New Jerusalem from heaven, and other related particulars, are symbols neither novel nor violent to Jewish minds, but both familiar and expressive, to denote a purifying glorification of the world, the installation of a divine kingdom, and the brilliant reign of universal righteousness and happiness among men, as if under the very eyes of the Messiah and the very sceptre of God. The Christians shall reign in Jerusalem, which shall be adorned with indescribable splendors and shall be the centre of a world wide dominion, the saved nations of the earth surrounding it and "walking in the light of it, their kings bringing their glory and honor into it." "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death." That is, upon the whole, as we understand the scattered hints relevant to the subject to imply, when Christ returns to the Father with his chosen, he will leave a regenerated earth, with Jerusalem for its golden and peerless capital, peopled, and to be peopled, with rejoicing and immortal men, who will keep the commandments, be exempt from ancient evils, hold intimate communion with God and the Lamb, and, from generation to generation, pass up to heaven through that swift and painless change, alluded to by Paul, whereby it was intended at the first that sinless man, his corruptible and mortal putting on incorruption and immortality, should be fitted for the companionship of angels in the pure radiance of the celestial world, and should be translated thither without tasting the bitterness of death, which was supposed to be the subterranean banishment of the disembodied ghost.

John's Doctrine of A Future Life

WE are now to see if we can determine and explain what were the views of the Apostle John upon the subject of death and life, condemnation and salvation, the resurrection and immortality. To understand his opinions on these points, it is obviously necessary to examine his general system of theological thought. John is regarded as the writer of the proem to the fourth Gospel, also of three brief epistles. There are such widely spread doubts of his being the author of the Apocalypse that it has seemed better to examine that production separately, leaving each one free to attribute its doctrine of the last things to whatever person known or unknown he believes wrote the book. It is true that the authorship of the fourth Gospel itself is powerfully disputed; but an investigation of that question would lead us too far and detain us too long from our real aim, which is not to discuss the genuineness or the authority of the New Testament documents, but to show their meaning in what they actually contain and imply concerning a future life. It is necessary to premise that we think it certain that John wrote with some reference to the sprouting philosophy of his time, the Platonic and Oriental speculations so early engrafted upon the stock of Christian doctrine. For the peculiar theories which were matured and systematized in the second and third centuries by the Gnostic sects were floating about, in crude and fragmentary forms, at the close of the first century, when the apostle wrote. They immediately awakened dissension and alarm, cries of heresy and orthodoxy, in the Church. Some modern writers deny the presence in the New Testament of any allusion to such views; but the weight of evidence on the other side internal, from similarity of phrase, and external, from the testimony of early Fathers is, when accumulated and appreciated, overwhelming. Among these Gnostic notions the most distinctive and prominent was the belief that the world was created and the Jewish dispensation given, not by the true and infinite God, but by a subordinate and imperfect deity, the absolute God remaining separate from all created things, unknown and afar, in the sufficiency of his aboriginal pleroma or fulness. The Gnostics also maintained that Creative Power, Reason, Life, Truth, Love, and other kindred realities, were individual beings, who had emanated from God, and who by their own efficiency constructed, illuminated, and carried on the various provinces of creation and races of existence. Many other opinions, fanciful, absurd, or recondite, which they held, it is not necessary here to state. The evangelist, without alluding perhaps to any particular teachers or systems of these doctrines, but only to their general scope, traverses by his declarations partially the same ground of thought which they cover, stating dogmatically the positive facts as he apprehended them. He agrees with some of the Gnostic doctrines and differs from others, not setting himself to follow or to oppose them indiscriminately, but to do either as the truth seemed to him to require.

There are two methods of seeking the meaning of the introduction to the fourth Gospel where the Johannean doctrine of the Logos is condensed. We may study it grammatically, or historically; morally, or metaphysically; from the point of view of experimental religious faith, or from that of contemporary speculative philosophy. He who omits either of these ways of regarding the subject must arrive at an interpretation essentially defective. Both modes of investigation are indispensable for acquiring a full comprehension of the expressions employed and the thoughts intended. But to be fitted to understand the theme in its historical aspect which, in this case, for purposes of criticism, is by far the more important one must be intelligently acquainted with the Hebrew personification of the Wisdom, also of the Word, of God; with the Platonic conception of archetypal ideas; with the Alexandrian Jewish doctrine of the Divine Logos; and with the relevant Gnostic and Christian speculation and phraseology of the first two centuries. Especially must the student be familiar with Philo, who was an eminent Platonic Jewish philosopher and a celebrated writer, flourishing previous to the composition of the fourth Gospel, in which, indeed, there is scarcely a single superhuman predicate of Christ which may not be paralleled with striking closeness from his extant works. In all these fields are found, in imperfect proportions and fragments, the materials which are developed in John's belief of the Logos become flesh. To present all these materials here would be somewhat out of place and would require too much room. We shall, therefore, simply state, as briefly and clearly as possible, the final conclusions to which a thorough study has led us, drawing such illustrations as we do advance almost entirely from Philo.1

1 The reader who wishes to see in smallest compass and most lucid order the facts requisite for the formation of a judgment is referred to Lucke's "Dissertation on the Logos," to Norton's "Statement of Reasons," and to Neander's exposition of the Johannean theology in his "Planting and Training of the Church." Nearly every thing important, both external and internal, is collected in these three sources taken together, and set forth with great candor, power, and skill. Differing in their conclusions, they supply pretty adequate means for the independent student to conclude for himself.

In the first place, what view of the Father himself, the absolute Deity, do these writings present? John conceives of God no one can well collate the relevant texts in his works without perceiving this as the one perfect and eternal Spirit, in himself invisible to mortal eyes, the Personal Love, Life, Truth, Light, "in whom is no darkness at all." This corresponds entirely with the purest and highest idea the human mind can form of the one untreated infinite God. The apostle, then, going back to the period anterior to the material creation, and soaring to the contemplation of the sole God, does not conceive of him as being utterly alone, but as having a Son with him, an "only begotten Son," a beloved companion "before the foundation of the world." "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was nothing made that was made." The true explanation of these words, according to their undeniable historical and their unforced grammatical. There is an English translation of it, by Professor G. R. Noyes, in the numbers of the Christian Examiner for March and May, 1849, meaning, is as follows. Before the material creation, when God was yet the sole being, his first production, the Logos, was a Son, at once the image of himself and the idea of the yet uncreated world. By him this personal Idea, Son, or Logos all things were afterward created; or, more exactly, through him, by means of him, all things became, that is, were brought, from their being in a state of conception in the mind of God, into actual existence in space and time. Thus Philo says, "God is the most generic; second is the Logos of God."2 "The Logos is the first begotten Son."3 "The Logos of God is above the whole world, and is the most ancient and generic of all that had a beginning."4 "Nothing intervenes between the Logos and God on whom he rests."5 "This sensible world is the junior son of God; the Senior is the Idea,"6 or Logos. "The shadow and seeming portrait of God is his Logos, by which, as by an assumed instrument, he made the world. As God is the original of the image here called shadow, so this image becomes the original of other things."7 "The intelligible world, or world of archetypal ideas, is the Logos of the world creating God; as an intelligible or ideal city is the thought of the architect reflecting to build a sensible city."8 "Of the world, God is the cause by which, the four elements the material from which, the Logos the instrument through which, the goodness of the Creator the end for which, it was made."9 These citations from Philo clearly show, in various stages of development, that doctrine of the Logos which began first arguing to the Divine Being from human analogies with separating the conception of a plan in the mind of God from its execution in fact; proceeded with personifying that plan, or sum of ideas, as a mediating agent between motive and action, between impulse and fulfilment; and ended with hypostatizing the arranging power of the Divine thought as a separate being, his intellectual image or Son, his first and perfect production. They unequivocally express these thoughts: that God is the only being who was from eternity; that the Logos was the first begotten, antemundane being, that he was the likeness, image, immediate manifestation, of the Father; that he was the medium of creation, the instrumental means in the outward formation of the world. History shows us this doctrine unfolded by minute steps, which it would be tedious to follow, from the Book of Proverbs to Philo Judaus and John, from Plato to Justin Martyr and Athanasius. But the rapid sketch just presented may be sufficient now.

When it is written, "and the Logos was God," the meaning is not strictly literal. To guard against its being so considered, the author tautologically repeats what he had said immediately before, "the same was in the beginning with God." Upon the supposition that the Logos is strictly identical with God, the verses make utter nonsense. "In the beginning was God, and God was with God, and God was God. God was in the beginning with God." But suppose the Logos to mean an ante mundane but subordinate being, who was a perfect image or likeness of God, and the sense is both clear and satisfactory, and no violence is done either to historical data or to grammatical demands. "And the Logos was God," that is, was the mirror or facsimile of God. So, employing the same idiom, we are accustomed to say

2 Mangey's edition of Philo, vol. i. p. 82.

3 Ibid. p. 308.

4 Ibid. p. 121.

5 Ibid. p. 560.

6 Ibid. p. 277.

7 Ibid. p. 106.

8 Ibid. p. 5.

9 Ibid. p. 162.

of an accurate representation of a person, It is the very man himself! Or, without the use of this idiom, we may explain the expression "the Logos was God" thus: He stands in the place of God to the lower creation: practically considered, he is as God to us. As Philo writes, "To the wise and perfect the Most High is God; but to us, imperfect beings, the Logos God's interpreter is God."10

The inward significance of the Logos doctrine, in all its degrees and phases, circumstantially and essentially, from first to last, is the revelation of God. God himself, in himself, is conceived as absolutely withdrawn beyond the apprehension of men, in boundless immensity and inaccessible secrecy. His own nature is hidden, as a thought is hidden in the mind; but he has the power of revealing it, as a thought is revealed by speaking it in a word. That uttered word is the Logos, and is afterwards conceived as a person, and as creative, then as building and glorifying the world. All of God that is sent forth from passive concealment into active manifestation is the Logos. "The term Logos comprehends," Norton says, "all the attributes of God manifested in the creation and government of the universe." The Logos is the hypostasis of "the unfolded portion," "the revealing power," "the self showing faculty," "the manifesting action," of God. The essential idea, then, concerning the Logos is that he is the means through which the hidden God comes to the cognizance of his creatures. In harmony with this prevailing philosophy one who believed the Logos to have been incarnated in Christ would suppose the purpose of his incarnation to be the fuller revelation of God to men. And Martineau says, "The view of revelation which is implicated in the folds of the Logos doctrine that everywhere pervades the fourth Gospel, is that it is the appearance to beings who have something of a divine spirit within them, of a yet diviner without them, leading them to the divinest of all, who embraces them both." This is a fine statement of the practical religious aspect of John's conception of the nature and office of the Savior.

Since he regarded God as personal love, life, truth, and light, and Christ, the embodied Logos, as his only begotten Son, an exact image of him in manifestation, it follows that John regarded Christ, next in rank below God, as personal love, life, truth, and light; and the belief that he was the necessary medium of communicating these Divine blessings to men would naturally result. Accordingly, we find that John repeats, as falling from the lips of Christ, all the declarations required by and supporting such an hypothesis. "I am the way, the truth, and the life." "No man cometh unto the Father but by me." But Philo, too, had written before in precisely the same strain. Witness the correspondences between the following quotations respectively from John and Philo. "I am the bread which came down from heaven to give life to the world."11 Whoso eateth my body and drinketh my blood hath eternal life."12 "Behold, I rain bread upon you from heaven: the heavenly food of the soul is the word of God, and the Divine Logos, from whom all eternal instructions and wisdoms flow."13 "The bread the Lord gave us to eat was his word."14 "Except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood, ye have no life

10 Mangey's edition of Philo, vol. ii. p. 128.

11 John vi. 33. 41.

12 Ibid. 54.

13 Quoted by G. Scheffer in his Treatise "De Usu Philonis in Interpretatione Novi Testamenti," p. 82.

14 lbid. p. 81.

in you."15 "He alone can become the heir of incorporeal and divine things whose whole soul is filled with the salubrious Word."16 "Every one that seeth the Son and believeth on him shall have everlasting life."17 "He strains every nerve towards the highest Divine Logos, who is the fountain of wisdom, in order that, drawing from that spring, he may escape death and win everlasting life."18 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread he shall live forever."19 "Lifting up his eyes to the ether, man receives manna, the Divine Logos, heavenly and immortal nourishment for the right desiring soul."20 "God is the perennial fountain of life; God is the fountain of the most ancient Logos."21 "As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me."22 Does it not seem perfectly plain that John's doctrine of the Christ is at bottom identical with Philo's doctrine of the Logos? The difference of development in the two doctrines, so far as there is a difference, is that the latter view is philosophical, abstract; the former, practical, historical. Philo describes the Logos ideally, filling the supersensible sphere, mediating between the world and God; John presents him really, incarnated as a man, effecting the redemption of our race. The same dignity, the same offices, are predicated of him by both. John declares, "In him [the Divine Logos] was life, and the life was the light of men."23 Philo asserts, "Nothing is more luminous and irradiating than the Divine Logos, by the participation of whom other things expel darkness and gloom, earnestly desiring to partake of living light."24 John speaks of Christ as "the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father."25 Philo says, "The Logos is the first begotten Son of God," "between whom and God nothing intervenes."26 John writes, "The Son of man will give you the food of everlasting life; for him hath God the Father sealed."27 Philo writes, "The stamp of the seal of God is the immortal Logos."28 We have this from John: "He was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin."29 And this from Philo: "The Divine Logos is free from all sins, voluntary and involuntary."30

The Johannean Christ is the Philonean Logos born into the world as a man. "And the Logos was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth." The substance of what has thus far been established may now be concisely stated. The essential thought, whether the subject be metaphysically or practically considered, is this. God is the eternal, infinite personality of love and truth, life and light. The Logos is his first born Son, his exact image, the reproduction of his being, the next lower personality of love and truth, life and light, the instrument for creating and ruling the world, the revelation of God, the medium of communication between God and his works. Christ is that Logos come upon the earth as a man to save the perishing, proving his pre existence and superhuman nature by his miraculous knowledge and works. That the belief expressed in the last sentence is correctly attributed to John will

15 John vi. 53.

16 Philo, vol. i. p. 482.

17 John vi. 40.

18 Philo, vol. i. p. 560.

19 John vi. 51.

20 Philo, vol. i. p. 498.

21 Ibid. pp. 575, 207.

22 John vi. 57.

23 John i. 4.

24 Philo, vol. i. p. 121.

25 John i. 18.

26 Philo, vol. i. pp. 427, 560.

27 John vi. 27.

28 Philo, vol. ii. p. 606.

29 1 John iii. 5.

30 Philo, vol. i. p. 562.

be repeatedly substantiated before the close of this chapter: in regard to the statements in the preceding sentences no further proof is thought necessary.

With the aid of a little repetition, we will now attempt to make a step of progress. The tokens of energy, order, splendor, beneficence, in the universe, are not, according to John, as we have seen, the effects of angelic personages, emanating gods, Gnostic aons, but are the workings of the self revealing power of the one true and eternal God, this power being conceived by John, according to the philosophy of his age, as a proper person, God's instrument in creation. Reason, life, light, love, grace, righteousness, kindred terms so thickly scattered over his pages, are not to him, as they were to the Gnostics, separate beings, but are the very working of the Logos, consubstantial manifestations of God's nature and attributes. But mankind, fallen into folly and vice, perversity and sin, lying in darkness, were ignorant that these Divine qualities were in reality mediate exhibitions of God, immediate exhibitions of the Logos. "The light was shining in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not." Then, to reveal to men the truth, to regenerate them and conjoin them through himself with the Father in the experience of eternal life, the hypostatized Logos left his transcendent glory in heaven and came into the world in the person of Jesus. "No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath revealed him." "I came down from heaven to do the will of Him that sent me." This will is that all who see and believe on the Son shall have everlasting life. "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." "The bread of God is He who cometh down from heaven and giveth life to the world." The doctrine of the pre existence of souls, and of their being born into the world in the flesh, was rife in Judea when this Gospel was written, and is repeatedly alluded to in it.31 That John applies this doctrine to Christ in the following and in other instances is obvious. "Before Abraham was, I am." "I came forth from the Father and am come into the world." "Father, glorify thou me with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." "What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before?" As for ourselves, we do not see how it is possible for any unprejudiced person, after studying the fourth Gospel faithfully with the requisite helps, to doubt that the writer of it believed that Jesus pre existed as the Divine Logos, and that he became incarnate to reveal the Father and to bring men into the experience of true eternal life. John declares this, in his first epistle, in so many words, saying, "The living Logos, the eternal life which was with the Father from the beginning, was manifested unto us;" and, "God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him." Whether the doctrine thus set forth was really entertained and taught by Jesus himself, or whether it is the interpretation put on his language by one whose mind was full of the notions of the age, are distinct questions. With the settlement of these questions we are not now concerned: such a discussion would be more appropriate when examining the genuine meaning of the words of Christ. All that is necessary here is the suggestion that when we show the theological system of John it does not necessarily follow that that is the true

31 John i. 21; ix. 2.

teaching of Christ. Having adopted the Logos doctrine, it might tinge and turn his thoughts and words when reporting from memory, after the lapse of many years, the discourses of his Master. He might unconsciously, under such an influence, represent literally what was figuratively intended, and reflect from his own mind lights and shades, associations and meanings, over all or much of what he wrote. There are philosophical and literary peculiarities which have forced many of the best critics to make this distinction between the intended meaning of Christ's declarations as he uttered them, and their received meaning as this evangelist reported them. Norton says, "Whether St. John did or did not adopt the Platonic conception of the Logos is a question not important to be settled in order to determine our own judgment concerning its truth."32 Lucke has written to the same effect, but more fully: "We are allowed to distinguish the sense in which John understood the words of Christ, from the original sense in which Christ used them."33

It is to be observed that in all that has been brought forward, thus far, there is not the faintest hint of the now current notion of the Trinity. The idea put forth by John is not at all allied with the idea that the infinite God himself assumed a human shape to walk the earth and undergo mortal sufferings. It is simply said that that manifested and revealing portion of the Divine attributes which constituted the hypostatized Logos was incarnated and displayed in a perfect, sinless sample of man, thus exhibiting to the world a finite image of God. We will illustrate this doctrine with reference to the inferences to be drawn from it in regard to human nature. John repeatedly says, in effect, "God is truth," "God is light," "God is love," "God is life." He likewise says of the Savior, "In him was life, and the life was the light of men," and reports him as saying of himself, "I am the truth," "I am the life," "I am the light of the world." The fundamental meaning of these declarations so numerous, striking, and varied in the writings of John is, that all those qualities which the consciousness of humanity has recognised as Divine are consubstantial with the being of God; that all the reflections of them in nature and man belong to the Logos, the eldest Son, the first production, of God; and that in Jesus their personality, the very Logos himself, was consciously embodied, to be brought nearer to men, to be exemplified and recommended to them. Reason, power, truth, light, love, blessedness, are not individual aons, members of a hierarchy of deities, but are the revealing elements of the one true God. The personality of the abstract and absolute fulness of all these substantial qualities is God. The personality of the discerpted portion of them shown in the universe is the Logos. Now, that latter personality Christ was. Consequently, while he was a man, he was not merely a man, but was also a supernatural messenger from heaven, sent into the world to impersonate the image of God under the condition of humanity, free from every sinful defect and spot. Thus, being the manifesting representative of the Father, he could say, "He that hath seen me hath [virtually] seen the Father." Not that they were identical in person, but that they were similar in nature and character, spirit and design: both were eternal holiness, love, truth, and life. "I and my Father are one thing," (in essence, not in personality.) Nothing can be more

32 Statement of Reasons, 1st ed. p. 239.

33 Christian Examiner, May, 1849, p. 431.

unequivocally pronounced than the subordination of the Son to the Father that the Father sent him, that he could do nothing without the Father, that his Father was greater than he, that his testimony was confirmed by the Father's in a hundred places by John, both as author writing his own words and as interpreter reporting Christ's. There is not a text in the record that implies Christ's identity with God, but only his identity with the Logos. The identity of the Logos with God is elementary, not personal. From this view it follows that every man who possesses, knows, and exhibits the elements of the Divine life, the characteristics of God, is in that degree a son of God, Christ being pre eminently the Son on account of his pre eminent likeness, his supernatural divinity, as the incarnate Logos.

That the apostle held and taught this conclusion appears, first, from the fact, otherwise inexplicable, that he records the same sublime statements concerning all good Christians, with no other qualification than that of degree, that he does concerning Christ himself. Was Jesus the Son of God? "To as many as received him he gave power to become the sons of God." There is in Philo a passage corresponding remarkably with this one from John: "Those who have knowledge of the truth are properly called sons of God: he who is still unfit to be named a son of God should endeavor to fashion himself to the first born Logos of God."34 Was Jesus "from above," while wicked men were "from beneath"? "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." Was Jesus sent among men with a special commission? "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." Was Jesus the subject of a peculiar glory, bestowed upon him by the Father? "The glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one." Had Jesus an inspiration and a knowledge not vouchsafed to the princes of this world? "Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things." Did Jesus perform miraculous works? "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." In the light of the general principle laid down, that God is the actual fulness of truth and love and light and blessedness; that Christ, the Logos, is the manifested impersonation of them; and that all men who receive him partake of their Divine substance and enjoy their prerogative, the texts just cited, and numerous other similar ones, are transparent. It is difficult to see how on any other hypothesis they can be made to express an intelligible and consistent meaning.

Secondly, we are brought to the same conclusion by the synonymous use and frequent interchange of different terms in the Johannean writings. Not only it is said, "Whoever is born of God cannot sin," but it is also written, "Every one that doeth righteousness is born of God;" and again, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." In other words, having a good character and leading a just life, heartily receiving and obeying the revelation made by Christ, are identical phrases. "He that hath the Son hath life." "Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God." "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" in the doctrine of Christ. "He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him." "He that keepeth the commandments dwelleth in God and God in him." "He that confesseth that Jesus is the Son of God, God

34 Philo, vol. i. p. 427.

dwelleth in him and he in God." "He that doeth good is of God." "God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son." "The Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know the true God and eternal life." From these citations, and from other passages which will readily occur, we gather the following pregnant results. To "do the truth," "walk in the truth," "walk in the light," "keep the commandments," "do righteousness," "abide in the doctrine of Christ," "do the will of God," "do good," "dwell in love," "abide in Christ," "abide in God," "abide in life," all are expressions meaning precisely the same thing. They all signify essentially the conscious possession of goodness; in other words, the practical adoption of the life and teachings of Jesus; or, in still other terms, the personal assimilation of the spiritual realities of the Logos, which are love, life, truth, light. Jesus having been sent into the world to exemplify the characteristics and claims of the Father, and to regenerate men from unbelief and sin to faith and righteousness, those who were walking in darkness, believers of lies and doers of unrighteousness, those who were abiding in alienation and death, might by receiving and following him be restored to the favor of God and pass from darkness and death into life and light. "This is eternal life, that they should know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent."

The next chief point in the doctrine of John is his belief in an evil being, the personality of wickedness, and the relation between him and bad men. There have been, from the early centuries, keen disputes on the question whether this apostle uses the terms devil and evil one with literal belief or with figurative accommodation. We have not a doubt that the former is the true view. The popular denial of the existence of evil spirits, with an arch demon over them, is the birth of a philosophy much later than the apostolic age. The use of the term "devil" merely as the poetic or ethical personification of the seductive influences of the world is the fruit of theological speculation neither originated nor adopted by the Jewish prophets or by the Christian apostles. Whoso will remember the prevailing faith of the Jews at that time, and the general state of speculative opinion, and will recollect the education of John, and notice the particular manner in which he alludes to the subject throughout his epistles and in his reports of the discourses of Jesus, we think will be convinced that the Johannean system includes a belief in the actual existence of Satan according to the current Pharisaic dogma of that age. It is not to be disguised, either, that the investigations of the ablest critics have led an overwhelming majority of them to this interpretation. "I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the evil one." "He that is begotten of God guardeth himself, and the evil one toucheth him not." "He that committeth sin is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning." "Whosoever is born of God cannot sin. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil." "Ye are of your father the devil, and his lusts ye will do." There can be no doubt that these, and other passages of a kindred and complementary nature, yield the following view. Good men are allied to God, because their characteristics are the same as his, truth, light, love, life, righteousness. "As he is, so are we in this world." Bad men are allied to the devil, because their characteristics are the same as his, falsehood, darkness, hatred, death, sin. "Cain, who slew his brother, was of the evil one." The facts, then, of the great moral problem of the world, according to John, were these. God is the infinite Father, whose nature and attributes comprehend all holy, beautiful, desirable realities, and who would draw mankind to his blessed embrace forever. The goodness, illumination, and joy of holy souls reflect his holiness and display his reign. The devil is the great spirit of wickedness, whose attributes comprehend all evil, dark, fearful realities, and who entices mankind to sin. The wickedness, gloom, and misery of corrupt souls reveal his likeness and his kingdom.

The former manifests himself in the glories of the world and in the divine qualities of the soul. The latter manifests himself in the whole history of temptation and sin and in the vicious tendencies of the heart. Good men, those possessing pre eminently the moral qualities of God, are his children, are born of him, that is, are inspired and led by him. Bad men, those possessing in a ruling degree the qualities of the devil, are his children, are born of him, that is, are animated and governed by his spirit.

Whether the evangelist gave to his own mind any philosophical account of the origin and destiny of the devil or not is a question concerning which his writings are not explicit enough for us to determine. In the beginning he represents God as making, by means of the Logos, all things that were made, and his light as shining in darkness that comprehended it not. Now, he may have conceived of matter as uncreated, eternally existing in formless night, the ground of the devil's being, and may have limited the work of creation to breaking up the sightless chaos, defining it into orderly shapes, filling it with light and motion, and peopling it with children of heaven. Such was the Persian faith, familiar at that time to the Jews. Neander, with others, objects to this view that it would destroy John's monotheism and make him a dualist, a believer in two self existents, aboriginal and everlasting antagonists. It only needs to be observed, in reply, that John was not a philosopher of such thorough dialectic training as to render it impossible for inconsistencies to coexist in his thoughts. In fact, any one who will examine the beliefs of even such men as Origen and Augustine will perceive that such an objection is not valid. Some writers of ability and eminence have tried to maintain that the Johannean conception of Satan was of some exalted archangel who apostatized from the law of God and fell from heaven into the abyss of night, sin, and woe. They could have been led to such an hypothesis only by preconceived notions and prejudices, because there is not in John's writings even the obscurest intimation of such a doctrine. On the contrary, it is written that the devil is a liar and the father of lies from the beginning, the same phrase used to denote the primitive companionship of God and his Logos anterior to the creation. The devil is spoken of by John, with prominent consistency, as bearing the same relation to darkness, falsehood, sin, and death that God bears to light, truth, righteousness, and life, that is, as being their original personality and source. Whether the belief itself be true or not, be reconcilable with pure Christianity or not, in our opinion John undoubtedly held the belief of the personality of the source of wickedness, and supposed that the great body of mankind had been seduced by him from the free service of heaven, and had become infatuated in his bondage.

Just here in the scheme of Christianity arises the necessity, appears the profound significance in the apostolic belief, of that disinterested interference of God through his revelation in Christ which aimed to break the reigning power of sin and redeem lost men from the tyranny of Satan. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."

That is to say, the revelation of the nature and will of God in the works of the creation and in the human soul was not enough, even when aided by the law of Moses, to preserve men in the truth and the life. They had been seduced by the evil one into sin, alienated from the Divine favor, and plunged in darkness and death. A fuller, more powerful manifestation of the character, claims, attractions of the Father was necessary to recall the benighted wanderers from their lost state and restore them to those right relations and to that conscious communion with God in which alone true life consists. Then, and for that purpose, Jesus Christ was commissioned to appear, a pre existent being of most exalted rank, migrating from the super stellar sphere into this world, to embody and mirror forth through the flesh those characteristics which are the natural attributes of God the Father and the essential conditions of heaven the home. In him the glorious features of the Divinity were miniatured on a finite scale and perfectly exhibited, "thus revealing," (as Neander says, in his exposition of John's doctrine,) "for the first time, in a comprehensible manner, what a being that God is whose holy personality man was created to represent." So Philo says, "The Logos is the image of God, and man is the image of the Logos."35 Therefore, according to this view, man is the image of the image of God. The dimmed, imperfect reflection of the Father, originally shining in nature and the soul, would enable all who had not suppressed it and lost the knowledge of it, to recognise at once and adore the illuminated image of Him manifested and moving before them in the person of the Son; the faint gleams of Divine qualities yet left within their souls would spontaneously blend with the full splendors irradiating the form of the inspired and immaculate Christ. Thus they would enter into a new and intensified communion with God, and experience an unparalleled depth of peace and joy, an inspired assurance of eternal life. But those who, by worldliness and wickedness, had obscured and destroyed all their natural knowledge of God and their affinities to him, being without the inward preparation and susceptibility for the Divine which the Savior embodied and manifested, would not be able to receive it, and thus would pass an infallible sentence upon themselves. "When the Comforter is come, he will convict the world of sin, because they believe not on me." "He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that believeth not is condemned already, in that he loveth darkness rather than light." "Hereby know we the spirit of truth and the spirit of error: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us." "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?" The idea is, that such a denial must be caused by inward depravity, could only spring from an evil character.

In the ground thought just presented we may find the explanation of the seemingly obscure and confused use of terms in the following instances, and learn to understand more fully John's idea of the effect of spiritual contact with Christ. "He that doeth righteousness is born of God." "He that believeth Jesus to be the Christ is born of God." "He that denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father." "He that hath the Son hath life." These passages all become perspicuous and concordant in view of John's conception of the inward unity of

35 Philo, vol. i. p. 106.

truth, or the universal oneness of the Divine life, in God, in Christ, in all souls that partake of it. A character in harmony with the character of God will, by virtue of its inherent light and affinity, recognise the kindred attributes or characteristics of God, wherever manifested. He who perceives and embraces the Divinity in the character of Christ proves thereby that he was prepared to receive it by kindred qualities residing in himself, proves that he was distinctively of God. He who fails to perceive the peculiar glory of Christ proves thereby that he was alienated and blinded by sin and darkness, distinctively of the evil one. Varying the expression to illustrate the thought, if the light and warmth of a living love of God were in a soul, it would necessarily, when brought into contact with the concentrated radiance of Divinity incarnated and beaming in Christ, effect a more fervent, conscious, and abiding union with the Father than could be known before he was thus revealed. But if iniquities, sinful lusts, possessing the soul, had made it hard and cold, even the blaze of spotless virtues and miraculous endowments in the manifesting Messiah would be the radiation of light upon darkness insensible to it. Therefore, the presentation of the Divine contents of the soul or character of Jesus to different persons was an unerring test of their previous moral state: the good would apprehend him with a thrill of unison, the bad would not. To have the Son, to have the Father, to have the truth, to have eternal life, all are the same thing: hence, where one is predicated or denied all are predicated or denied.

Continuing our investigation, we shall find the distinction drawn of a sensual or perishing life and a spiritual or eternal life. The term world (kosmos) is used by John apparently in two different senses. First, it seems to signify all mankind, divided sometimes into the unbelievers and the Christians. "Christ is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." "God sent not his Son to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved." It is undeniable that "world" here means not the earth, but the men on the earth. Secondly, "world" in the dialect of John means all the evil, all the vitiating power, of the material creation. "Now shall the Prince of this world be cast out." It is not meant that this is the devil's world, because John declares in the beginning that God made it; but he means that all diabolic influence comes from the darkness of matter fighting against the light of Divinity, and by a figure he says "world," meaning the evils in the world, meaning all the follies, vanities, sins, seductive influences, of the dark and earthy, the temporal and sensual. In this case the love of the world means almost precisely what is expressed by the modern word worldliness. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

In a vein strikingly similar, Philo writes, "It is impossible for the love of the world and the love of God to coexist, as it is impossible for light and darkness to coexist."36 "For all that is in the world," says John, "the lust of the flesh, and the greed of the eyes, and the pomp of living, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, with the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides forever." He who is taken up and absorbed in the gauds and pleasures of time and sense has no deep spring of religious experience:

36 Philo, vol. ii. p. 649.

his enjoyments are of the decaying body; his heart and his thoughts are set on things which soon fly away. But the earnest believer in God pierces through all these superficial and transitory objects and pursuits, and fastens his affections to imperishable verities: he feels, far down in his soul, the living well of faith and fruition, the cool fresh fountain of spiritual hope and joy, whose stream of life flows unto eternity. The vain sensualist and hollow worldling has no true life in him: his love reaches not beyond the grave. The loyal servant of duty and devout worshipper of God has a spirit of conscious superiority to death and oblivion: though the sky fall, and the mountains melt, and the seas fade, he knows he shall survive, because immaterial truth and love are deathless. The whole thought contained in the texts we are considering is embodied with singular force and beauty in the following passage from one of the sacred books of the Hindus: "Who would have immortal life must beware of outward things, and seek inward truth, purity, and faith; for the treacherous and evanescent world flies from its votaries, like the mirage, or devil car, which moves so swiftly that one cannot ascend it." The mere negation of real life or blessedness is predicated of the careless worldling; positive death or miserable condemned unrest is predicated of the bad hearted sinner. Both these classes of men, upon accepting Christ, that is, upon owning the Divine characteristics incarnate in him, enter upon a purified, exalted, and new experience. "He that hates his brother is a murderer and abides in death." "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." This new experience is distinctively, emphatically, life; it is spiritual peace, joy, trust, communion with God, and therefore immortal. It brings with it its own sufficient evidence, leaving its possessor free from misgiving doubts, conscious of his eternity. "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself." "Hereby know we that we dwell in him and he in us, because he hath given us of his spirit." "That ye may know that ye have eternal life."

The objects of Christ's mission, so far as they refer to the twofold purpose of revealing the Father by an impersonation of his image, and giving new moral life to men by awakening within them a conscious fellowship with Divine truth and goodness, have already been unfolded. But this does not include the whole: all this might have been accomplished by his appearance, authoritative teachings, miracles, and return to heaven, without dying. Why, then, did he die? What was the meaning or aim of his death and resurrection? The apostle conceives that he came not only to reveal God and to regenerate men, but also to be a "propitiation" for men's sins, to redeem them from the penalty of their sins; and it was for this end that he must suffer the doom of physical death. "Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins." It is the more difficult to tell exactly what thoughts this language was intended by John to convey, because his writings are so brief and miscellaneous, so unsystematic and incomplete. He does not explain his own terms, but writes as if addressing those who had previously received such oral instruction as would make the obscurities clear, the hints complete, and the fragments whole. We will first quote from John all the important texts bearing on the point before us, and then endeavor to discern and explain their sense. "If we walk in the light as God is in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin." "He is the propitiation for our sins." "Your sins are forgiven through his name."

"The whole world is subject to the evil one." These texts, few and vague as they are, comprise every thing directly said by John upon the atonement and redemption: other relevant passages merely repeat the same substance. Certainly these statements do not of themselves teach any thing like the Augustinian doctrine of expiatory sufferings to placate the Father's indignation at sin and sinners, or to remove, by paying the awful debt of justice, the insuperable bars to forgiveness. Nothing of that sort is anywhere intimated in the Johannean documents, even in the faintest manner. So far from saying that there was unwillingness or inability in the Father to take the initiative for our ransom and pardon, he expressly avows, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." Instead of exclaiming, with the majority of modern theologians, "Believe in the atoning death, the substitutional sufferings, of Christ, and your sins shall then all be washed away, and you shall be saved," he explicitly says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins." And again: "Whosoever believeth in him" not in his death, but in him "shall have eternal life." The allusions in John to the doctrine of redemption and reconciliation do not mean, it is plain enough, the buying off of the victims of eternal condemnation by the vicarious pains of Jesus. What, then, do they mean? They are too few, short, and obscure for us to decide this question conclusively by their own light alone. We must get assistance from abroad.

The reader will remember that it was the Jewish belief, and the retained belief of the converts to Christianity, at that time, that men's souls, in consequence of sin, were doomed upon leaving the body to descend into the under world. This was the objective penalty of sin, inherited from Adam. Now, Christ in his superangelic state in heaven was not involved in sin or in its doom of death and subterranean banishment. Yet at the will of the Father he became a man, went through our earthly experiences, died like a sinner, and after death descended into the prison of disembodied souls below, then rose again and ascended into heaven to the Father, to show men that their sins were forgiven, the penalty taken away, and the path opened for them too to rise to eternal life in the celestial mansions with Christ "and be with him where he is." Christ's death, then, cleanses men from sin, he is a propitiation for their sins, in two ways. First, by his resurrection from the power of death and his ascent to heaven he showed men that God had removed the great penalty of sin: by his death and ascension he was the medium of giving them this knowledge. Secondly, the joy, gratitude, love to God, awakened in them by such glorious tidings, would purify their natures, exalt their souls into spiritual freedom and virtue, into a blessed and Divine life. According to this view, Christ was a vicarious sacrifice, not in the sense that he suffered instead of the guilty, to purchase their redemption from the iron justice of God, but in the sense that, when he was personally free from any need to suffer, he died for the sake of others, to reveal to them the mighty boon of God's free grace, assuring them of the wondrous gift of a heavenly immortality. This representation perfectly fills and explains the language, without violence or arbitrary suppositions, does it in harmony with all the exegetical considerations, historical and grammatical; which no other view that we know of can do.

There are several independent facts which lend strong confirmation to the correctness of the exposition now given. We know that we have not directly proved the justice of that exposition, only constructively, inferentially, established it; not shown it to be true, only made it appear plausible. But that plausibility becomes an extreme probability nay, shall we not say certainty? when we weigh the following testimonies for it. First, this precise doctrine is unquestionably contained in other parts of the New Testament. We have in preceding chapters demonstrated its existence in Paul's epistles, in Peter's, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and in the Apocalypse. Therefore, since John's phraseology is better explained by it than by any other hypothesis, it is altogether likely that his real meaning was the same.

Secondly, the terms "light" and "darkness," so frequent in this evangelist, were not originated by him, but adopted. They were regarded by the Persian theology, by Plato, by Philo, by the Gnostics, as having a physical basis as well as a spiritual significance. In their conceptions, physical light, as well as spiritual holiness, was an efflux or manifestation from the supernal God; physical darkness, as well as spiritual depravity, was an emanation or effect from the infernal Satan, or principle of evil. Is it not so in the usage of John? He uses the terms, it is true, prevailingly in a moral sense: still, there is much in his statements that looks as if he supposed they had a physical ground. If so, then how natural is this connection of thought! All good comes from the dazzling world of God beyond the sky; all evil comes from the nether world of his adversary, the prince of darkness. That John believed in a local heaven on high, the residence of God, is made certain by scores of texts too plain to be evaded. Would he not, then, in all probability, believe in a local hell? Believing, as he certainly did, in a devil, the author and lord of darkness, falsehood, and death, would he not conceive a kingdom for him? In the development of ideas reached at that time, it is evident that the conception of God implied an upper world, his resplendent abode, and that the conception of Satan equally implied an under world, his gloomy realm. To the latter human souls were doomed by sin. From the former Christ came, and returned to it again, to show that the Father would forgive our sins and take us there.

Thirdly, John expected that Christ, after death, would return to the Father in heaven. This appears from clear and reiterated statements in his reports of the Savior's words. But after the resurrection he tells us that Jesus had not yet ascended to the Father, but was just on the point of going. "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father." Where, then, did he suppose the soul of his crucified Master had been during the interval between his death and his resurrection? Dormant in the body, dead with the body, laid in the tomb? That is opposed to the doctrine of uninterrupted life which pervades his writings. Besides, such a belief was held only by the Sadducees, whom the New Testament stigmatizes. To assume that such was John's conception of the fact is an arbitrary supposition, without the least warrant from any source whatever. If he imagined the soul of Jesus during that time to have been neither in heaven nor in the sepulchre, is it not pretty sure that he supposed it was in the under world, the common receptacle of souls, where, according to the belief of that age, every man went after death?

Fourthly, it is to be observed, in favor of this general interpretation, that the doctrine it unfolds is in harmony with the contemporary opinions, a natural development from them, a development which would be forced upon the mind of a Jewish Christian accepting the resurrection of Christ as a fact. It was the Jewish opinion that God dwelt with his holy angels in a world of everlasting light above the firmament. It was the Jewish opinion that the departed souls of men, on account of sin, were confined beneath the earth in Satan's and death's dark and slumberous cavern of shadows. It was the Jewish opinion that the Messiah would raise the righteous dead and reign with them on earth. Now, the first Christians clung to the Jewish creed and expectations, with such modifications merely as the variation of the actual Jesus and his deeds from the theoretical Messiah and his anticipated achievements compelled. Then, when Christ having been received as the bringer of glad tidings from the Father died, and after three days rose from the dead and ascended to God, promising his brethren that where he was they should come, must they not have regarded it all as a dramatic exemplification of the fact that the region of death was no longer a hopeless dungeon, since one mighty enough to solve its chains and burst its gates had returned from it? must they not have considered him as a pledge that their sins were forgiven, their doom reversed, and heaven attainable?

John, in common with all the first Christians, evidently expected that the second advent of the Lord would soon take place, to consummate the objects he had left unfinished, to raise the dead and judge them, justifying the worthy and condemning the unworthy. There was a well known Jewish tradition that the appearance of Antichrist would immediately precede the triumphant coming of the Messiah. John says, "Even now are there many Antichrists: thereby we know that it is the last hour."37 "Abide in him, that, when he shall appear, we may not be ashamed before him at his coming." "That we may have boldness in the day of judgment." The evangelist's outlook for the return of the Savior is also shown at the end of his Gospel. "Jesus said not unto him, 'He shall not die;' but, 'If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?'" That the doctrine of a universal resurrection which the Jews probably derived, through their communication with the Persians, from the Zoroastrian system, and, with various modifications, adopted is embodied in the following passage, who can doubt? "The hour is coming when all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and shall come forth." That a general resurrection would literally occur under the auspices of Jesus was surely the meaning of the writer of those words. Whether that thought was intended to be conveyed by Christ in the exact terms he really used or not is a separate question, with which we are not now concerned, our object being simply to set forth John's views. Some commentators, seizing the letter and neglecting the spirit, have inferred from various texts that John expected that the resurrection would be limited to faithful Christians, just as the more rigid of the Pharisees confined it to the righteous Jews. "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

37 See the able and impartial discussion of John's belief on this subject contained in Lucke's Commentary on the First Epistle of John, i. 18-28.

To force this figure into a literal meaning is a mistake; for in the preceding chapter it is expressly said that "They that have done good shall come forth unto the resurrection of life; they that have done evil unto the resurrection of condemnation." Both shall rise to be judged; but as we conceive the most probable sense of the phrases the good shall be received to heaven, the bad shall be remanded to the under world. "Has no life in him" of course cannot mean is absolutely dead, annihilated, but means has not faith and virtue, the elements of blessedness, the qualifications for heaven. The particular figurative use of words in these texts may be illustrated by parallel idioms from Philo, who says, "Of the living some are dead; on the contrary, the dead live. For those lost from the life of virtue are dead, though they reach the extreme of old age; while the good, though they are disjoined from the body, live immortally."38 Again he writes, "Deathless life delivers the dying pious; but the dying impious everlasting death seizes."39 And a great many passages plainly show that one element of Philo's meaning, in such phrases as these, is, that he believed that, upon their leaving the body, the souls of the good would ascend to heaven, while the souls of the bad would descend to Hades. These discriminated events he supposed would follow death at once. His thorough Platonism had weaned him from the Persian Pharisaic doctrine of a common intermediate state detaining the dead below until the triumphant advent of a Redeemer should usher in the great resurrection and final judgment.40

John declares salvation to be conditional. "The blood of Christ" that is, his death and what followed "cleanses us from all sin, if we walk in the light as he is in the light;" not otherwise. "He that believeth not the Son shall not see eternal life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." "If any man see his brother commit a sin which is not unto death, he shall pray, and shall receive life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it." "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he [Christ] shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." The heads of the doctrine which seems to underlie these statements are as follow. Christ shall come again. All the dead shall rise for judicial ordeal. Those counted worthy shall be accepted, be transfigured into the resemblance of the glorious Redeemer and enter into eternal blessedness in heaven. The rest shall be doomed to the dark kingdom of death in the under world, to remain there for aught that is hinted to the contrary forever. From these premises two practical inferences are drawn in exhortations. First, we should earnestly strive to fit ourselves for acceptance by moral purity, brotherly love, and pious faith. Secondly, we should seek pardon for our sins by confession and prayer, and take heed lest by aggravated sin we deprave our souls beyond recovery. There are those who sin unto death, for whom it is hopeless to pray. Light, truth, and the divine life of heaven can never receive them; darkness, falsehood, and the deep realm of death irrevocably swallow them.

And now we may sum up in a few words the essential results of this whole inquiry into the principles of John's theology, especially as composing and shown in his doctrine of a

38 Vol. i. p. 554.

39 Ibid. p. 233.

40 See vol. i. pp. 139, 416, 417, 555, 643, 648; vol. ii. pp. 178, 433.

future life. First, God is personal love, truth, light, holiness, blessedness. These realities, as concentrated in their incomprehensible absoluteness, are the elements of his infinite being. Secondly, these spiritual substances, as diffused through the worlds of the universe and experienced in the souls of moral creatures, are the medium of God's revelation of himself, the direct presence and working of his Logos. Thirdly, the persons who prevailingly partake of these qualities are God's loyal subjects and approved children, in peaceful communion with the Father, through the Son, possessing eternal life. Fourthly, Satan is personal hatred, falsehood, darkness, sin, misery. These realities, in their abstract nature and source, are his being; in their special manifestations they are his efflux and power. Fifthly, the persons who partake rulingly of these qualities are the devil's enslaved subjects and lineal children: in sinful bondage to him, in depraved communion with him, they dwell in a state of hostile banishment and unhappiness, which is moral death. Sixthly, Christ was the Logos who, descending from his anterior glory in heaven, and appearing in mortal flesh, embodied all the Divine qualities in an unflawed model of humanity, gathered up and exhibited all the spiritual characteristics of the Father in a stainless and perfect soul supernaturally filled and illumined, thus to bear into the world a more intelligible and effective revelation of God the Father than nature or common humanity yielded, to shine with regenerating radiance upon the deadly darkness of those who were groping in lying sins, "that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly." Seventhly, the fickle and perishing experience of unbelieving and wicked men, the vagrant life of sensuality and worldliness, the shallow life in vain and transitory things, gives place in the soul of a Christian to a profoundly earnest, unchanging experience of truth and love, a steady and everlasting life in Divine and everlasting things. Eighthly, the experimental reception of the revealed grace and verity by faith and discipleship in Jesus is accompanied by internal convincing proofs and seals of their genuineness, validity, and immortality. They awaken a new consciousness, a new life, inherently Divine and self warranting. Ninthly, Christ, by his incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension, was a propitiation for our sins, a mercy seat pledging forgiveness; that is, he was the medium of showing us that mercy of God which annulled the penalty of sin, the descent of souls to the gloomy under world, and opened the celestial domains for the ransomed children of earth to join the sinless angels of heaven. Tenthly, Christ was speedily to make a second advent. In that last day the dead should come forth for judgment, the good be exalted to unfading glory with the Father and the Son, and the bad be left in the lower region of noiseless shadows and dreams. These ten points of view, we believe, command all the principal features of the theological landscape which occupied the mental vision of the writer of the Gospel and epistles bearing the superscription, John.

Hebrew Doctrine of A Future Life

ON the one extreme, a large majority of Christian scholars have asserted that the doctrine of a retributive immortality is clearly taught throughout the Old Testament. Able writers, like Bishop Warburton, have maintained, on the other extreme, that it says nothing whatever about a future life, but rather implies the total and eternal end of men in death. But the most judicious, trustworthy critics hold an intermediate position, and affirm that the Hebrew Scriptures show a general belief in the separate existence of the spirit, not indeed as experiencing rewards and punishments, but as surviving in the common silence and gloom of the under world, a desolate empire of darkness yawning beneath all graves and peopled with dream like ghosts.1

A number of important passages have been cited from different parts of the Old Testament by the advocates of the view first mentioned above. It will be well for us to notice these and their misuse before proceeding farther.

The translation of Enoch has been regarded as a revelation of the immortality of man. It is singular that Dr. Priestley should suggest, as the probable fact, so sheer and baseless a hypothesis as he does in his notes upon the Book of Genesis. He says, "Enoch was probably a prophet authorized to announce the reality of another life after this; and he might be removed into it without dying, as an evidence of the truth of his doctrine." The gross materialism of this supposition, and the failure of God's design which it implies, are a sufficient refutation of it. And, besides the utter unlikelihood of the thought, it is entirely destitute of support in the premises. One of the most curious of the many strange things to be found in Warburton's argument for the Divine Legation of Moses an argument marked, as is well known, by profound erudition, and, in many respects, by consummate ability is the use he makes of this account to prove that Moses believed the doctrine of immortality, but purposely obscured the fact from which it might be drawn by the people, in order that it might not interfere with his doctrine of the temporal special providence of Jehovah over the Jewish nation. Such a course is inconsistent with sound morality, much more with the character of an inspired prophet of God.

The only history we have of Enoch is in the fifth chapter of the Book of Genesis. The substance of it is as follows: "And Enoch walked with God during his appointed years; and then he was not, for God took him." The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, following the example of those Rabbins who, several centuries before his time, began to give mystical interpretations of the Scriptures, infers from this statement that Enoch was borne into heaven without tasting death. But it is not certainly known who the author of that epistle was; and, whoever he was, his opinion, of course, can have no authority upon a subject of criticism like

1 Boettcher, De Inferis Rebusque post mortem futuris ex Hebraorum et Gracoram Opinionibus.

this. Replying to the supposititious argument furnished by this passage, we say, Take the account as it reads, and it neither asserts nor implies the idea commonly held concerning it. It says nothing about translation or immortality; nor can any thing of the kind be legitimately deduced from it. Its plain meaning is no more nor less than this: Enoch lived three hundred and sixty five years, fearing God and keeping his commandments, and then he died. Many of the Rabbins, fond as they are of finding in the Pentateuch the doctrine of future blessedness for the good, interpret this narrative as only signifying an immature death; for Enoch, it will be recollected, reached but about half the average age of the others whose names are mentioned in the chapter. Had this occurrence been intended as the revelation of a truth, it would have been fully and clearly stated; otherwise it could not answer any purpose. As Le Clerc observes, "If the writer believed so important a fact as that Enoch was immortal, it is wonderful that he relates it as secretly and obscurely as if he wished to hide it." But, finally, even admitting that the account is to be regarded as teaching literally that God took Enoch, it by no means proves a revelation of the doctrine of general immortality. It does not show that anybody else would ever be translated or would in any way enter upon a future state of existence. It is not put forth as a revelation; it says nothing whatever concerning a revelation. It seems to mean either that Enoch suddenly died, or that he disappeared, nobody knew whither. But, if it really means that God took him into heaven, it is more natural to think that that was done as a special favor than as a sign of what awaited others. No general cause is stated, no consequence deduced, no principle laid down, no reflection added. How, then, can it be said that the doctrine of a future life for man is revealed by it or implicated in it?

The removal of Elijah in a chariot of fire, of which we read in the second chapter of the Second Book of Kings, is usually supposed to have served as a miraculous proof of the fact that the faithful servants of Jehovah were to be rewarded with a life in the heavens. The author of this book is not known, and can hardly be guessed at with any degree of plausibility. It was unquestionably written, or rather compiled, a long time probably several hundred years after the prophets whose wonderful adventures it recounts had passed away. The internal evidence is sufficient, both in quality and quantity, to demonstrate that the book is for the most part a collection of traditions. This characteristic applies with particular force to the ascension of Elijah. But grant the literal truth of the account: it will not prove the point in support of which it is advanced, because it does not purport to have been done as a revelation of the doctrine in question, nor did it in any way answer the purpose of such a revelation. So far from this, in fact, it does not seem even to have suggested the bare idea of another state of existence in a single instance. For when Elisha returned without Elijah, and told the sons of the prophets at Jericho that his master had gone up in a chariot of fire, which event they knew beforehand was going to happen, they, instead of asking the particulars or exulting over the revelation of a life in heaven, calmly said to him, "Behold, there be with thy servants fifty sons of strength: let them go, we pray thee, and seek for Elijah, lest peradventure a whirlwind, the blast of the Lord, hath caught him up and cast him upon one of the mountains or into one of the valleys. And he said, Ye shall not send. But when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send." This is all that is told us. Had it occurred as is stated, it would not so easily have passed from notice, but mighty inferences, never to be forgotten, would have been drawn from it at once. The story as it stands reminds one of the closing scene in the career of Romulus, speaking of whom the historians say, "In the thirty seventh year of his reign, while he was reviewing an army, a tempest arose, in the midst of which he was suddenly snatched from the eyes of men. Hence some thought he was killed by the senators, others, that he was borne aloft to the gods."2 If the ascension of Elijah to heaven in a chariot of fire did really take place, and if the books held by the Jews as inspired and sacred contained a history of it at the time of our Savior, it is certainly singular that neither he nor any of the apostles allude to it in connection with the subject of a future life.

The miracles performed by Elijah and by Elisha in restoring the dead children to life related in the seventeenth chapter of the First Book of Kings and in the fourth chapter of the Second Book are often cited in proof of the position that the doctrine of immortality is revealed in the Old Testament. The narration of these events is found in a record of unknown authorship. The mode in which the miracles were effected, if they were miracles, the prophet measuring himself upon the child, his eyes upon his eyes, his mouth upon his mouth, his hands upon his hands, and in one case the child sneezing seven times, looks dubious. The two accounts so closely resemble each other as to cast still greater suspicion upon both. In addition to these considerations, and even fully granting the reality of the miracles, they do not touch the real controversy, namely, whether the Hebrew Scriptures contain the revealed doctrine of a conscious immortality or of a future retribution. The prophet said, "O Lord my God, let this child's soul, I pray thee, come into his inward parts again." "And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived." Now, the most this can show is that the child's soul was then existing in a separate state. It does not prove that the soul was immortal, nor that it was experiencing retribution, nor even that it was conscious. And we do not deny that the ancient Jews believed that the spirits of the dead retained a nerveless, shadowy being in the solemn vaults of the under world. The Hebrew word rendered soul in the text is susceptible of three meanings: first, the shade, which, upon the dissolution of the body, is gathered to its fathers in the great subterranean congregation; second, the breath of a person, used as synonymous with his life; third, a part of the vital breath of God, which the Hebrews regarded as the source of the life of all creatures, and the withdrawing of which they supposed was the cause of death. It is clear that neither of these meanings can prove any thing in regard to the real point at issue, that is, concerning a future life of rewards and punishments.

One of the strongest arguments brought to support the proposition which we are combating at least, so considered by nearly all the Rabbins, and by not a few modern critics is the account of the vivification of the dead recorded in the thirty seventh chapter of the Book of Ezekiel. The prophet "was carried in the spirit of Jehovah" that is, mentally, in a prophetic ecstasy into a valley full of dry bones. "The bones came together, the flesh

2 Livy, i. 16; Dion. Hal. ii. 56.

grew on them, the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceeding great army." It should first be observed that this account is not given as an actual occurrence, but, after the manner of Ezekiel, as a prophetic vision meant to symbolize something. Now, of what was it intended as the symbol? a doctrine, or a coming event? a general truth to enlighten and guide uncertain men, or an approaching deliverance to console and encourage the desponding Jews? It is fair to let the prophet be his own interpreter, without aid from the glosses of prejudiced theorizers. It must be borne in mind that at this time the prophet and his countrymen were bearing the grievous burden of bondage in a foreign nation. "And Jehovah said to me, Son of man, these bones denote the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost, and we are cut off." This plainly denotes their present suffering in the Babylonish captivity, and their despair of being delivered from it. "Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, O my people, and bring you into the land of Israel." That is, I will rescue you from your slavery and restore you to freedom in your own land. The dry bones and their subsequent vivification, therefore, clearly symbolize the misery of the Israelites and their speedy restoration to happiness. Death is frequently used in a figurative sense to denote misery, and life to signify happiness. But those who maintain that the doctrine of the resurrection is taught as a revealed truth in the Hebrew Scriptures are not willing to let this passage pass so easily. Mr. Barnes says, "The illustration proves that the doctrine was one with which the people were familiar." Jerome states the argument more fully, thus: "A similitude drawn from the resurrection, to foreshadow the restoration of the people of Israel, would never have been employed unless the resurrection itself were believed to be a fact of future occurrence; for no one thinks of confirming what is uncertain by what has no existence."

It is not difficult to reply to these objections with convincing force. First, the vision was not used as proof or confirmation, but as symbol and prophecy. Secondly, the use of any thing as an illustration does by no means imply that it is commonly believed as a fact. For instance, we are told in the ninth chapter of the Book of Judges that Jotham related an allegory to the people as an illustration of their conduct in choosing a king, saying, "The trees once on a time went forth to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree, Come thou and reign over us;" and so on. Does it follow that at that time it was a common belief that the trees actually went forth occasionally to choose them a king? Thirdly, if a given thing is generally believed as a fact, a person who uses it expressly as a symbol, of course does not thereby give his sanction to it as a fact. And if a belief in the resurrection of the dead was generally entertained at the time of the prophet, its origin is not implied, and it does not follow that it was a doctrine of revelation, or even a true doctrine. Finally, there is one consideration which shows conclusively that this vision was never intended to typify the resurrection; namely, that it has nothing corresponding to the most essential part of that doctrine. When the bones have come together and are covered with flesh, God does not call up the departed spirits of these bodies from Sheol, does not bring back the vanished lives to animate their former tabernacles, now miraculously renewed. No: he but breathes on them with his vivifying breath, and straightway they live and move. This is not a resurrection, but a new creation. The common idea of a bodily restoration implies and, that any just retribution be compatible with it, it necessarily implies the vivification of the dead frame, not by the introduction of new life, but by the reinstalment of the very same life or spirit, the identical consciousness that before animated it. Such is not represented as being the case in Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dry bones. That vision had no reference to the future state.

In this connection, the revelation made by the angel in his prophecy, recorded in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Daniel, concerning the things which should happen in the Messianic times, must not be passed without notice. It reads as follows: "And many of the sleepers of the dust of the ground shall awake, those to life everlasting, and these to shame, to contempt everlasting. And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever." No one can deny that a judgment, in which reward and punishment shall be distributed according to merit, is here clearly foretold. The meaning of the text, taken with the connection, is, that when the Messiah appears and establishes his kingdom the righteous shall enjoy a bodily resurrection upon the earth to honor and happiness, but the wicked shall be left below in darkness and death.3 This seems to imply, fairly enough, that until the advent of the Messiah none of the dead existed consciously in a state of retribution. The doctrine of the passage, as is well known, was held by some of the Jews at the beginning of the Christian era, and, less distinctly, for about two centuries previous. Before that time no traces of it can be found in their history. Now, had a doctrine of such intense interest and of such vast importance as this been a matter of revelation, it seems hardly possible that it should have been confined to one brief and solitary text, that it should have flashed up for a single moment so brilliantly, and then vanished for three or four centuries in utter darkness. Furthermore, nearly one half of the Book of Daniel is written in the Chaldee tongue, and the other half in the Hebrew, indicating that it had two authors, who wrote their respective portions at different periods. Its critical and minute details of events are history rather than prophecy. The greater part of the book was undoubtedly written as late as about a hundred and sixty years before Christ, long after the awful simplicity and solitude of the original Hebrew theology had been marred and corrupted by an intermixture of the doctrines of those heathen nations with whom the Jews had been often brought in contact. Such being the facts in the case, the text is evidently without force to prove a divine revelation of the doctrine it teaches.

In the twenty second chapter of the Gospel by Matthew, Jesus says to the Sadducees, "But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." The passage to which reference is made is written in the third chapter of the Book of Exodus. In order to ascertain the force of the Savior's argument, the extent of meaning it had in his mind, and the amount of knowledge attributed by it to Moses, it will be necessary to determine first the definite purpose he had

3 Wood, The Last Things, p. 45.

in view in his reply to the Sadducees, and how he proposed to accomplish it. We shall find that the use he made of the text does not imply that Moses had the slightest idea of any sort of future life for man, much less of an immortal life of blessedness for the good and of suffering for the bad. We should suppose, beforehand, that such would be the case, since upon examining the declaration cited, with its context, we find it to be simply a statement made by Jehovah explaining who he was, that he was the ancient national guardian of the Jews, the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This does not seem to contain the most distant allusion to the immortality of man, or to have suggested any such thought to the mind of Moses. It should be distinctly understood from the outset that Jesus did not quote this passage from the Pentateuch as proving any thing of itself, or as enabling him to prove any thing by it directly, but as being of acknowledged authority to the Sadducees themselves, to form the basis of a process of reasoning. The purpose he had in view, plainly, was to convince the Sadducees either of the possibility or of the actuality of the resurrection of the dead: its possibility, if we assume that by resurrection he meant the Jewish doctrine of a material restoration, the reunion of soul and body; its actuality, if we suppose he meant the conscious immortality of the soul separate from the body. If the resurrection was physical, Christ demonstrates to the Sadducees its possibility, by refuting the false notion upon which they based their denial of it. They said, The resurrection of the body is impossible, because the principle of life, the consciousness, has utterly perished, and the body cannot live alone. He replied, It is possible, because the soul has an existence separate from the body, and, consequently, may be reunited to it. You admit that Jehovah said, after they were dead, I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: but he is the God of the living, and not of the dead, for all live unto him. You must confess this. The soul, then, survives the body, and a resurrection is possible. It will be seen that this implies nothing concerning the nature or duration of the separate existence, but merely the fact of it. But, if Christ meant by the resurrection of the dead as we think he did the introduction of the disembodied and conscious soul into a state of eternal blessedness, the Sadducees denied its reality by maintaining that no such thing as a soul existed after bodily dissolution. He then proved to them its reality in the following manner. You believe for Moses, to whose authority you implicitly bow, relates it that God said, "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," and this, long after they died. But evidently he cannot be said to be the God of that which does not exist: therefore their souls must have been still alive. And if Jehovah was emphatically their God, their friend, of course he will show them his loving kindness. They are, then, in a conscious state of blessedness. The Savior does not imply that God said so much in substance, nor that Moses intended to teach, or even knew, any thing like it, but that, by adding to the passage cited a premise of his own, which his hearers granted to be true, he could deduce so much from it by a train of new and unanswerable reasoning. His opponents were compelled to admit the legitimacy of his argument, and, impressed by its surpassing beauty and force, were silenced, if not convinced. The credit of this cogent proof of human immortality, namely, that God's love for man is a pledge and warrant of his eternal blessedness a proof whose originality and significance set it far beyond all parallel is due to the dim gropings of no Hebrew prophet, but to the inspired insight of the great Founder of Christianity.

The various passages yet unnoticed which purport to have been uttered by Jehovah or at his command, and which are urged to show that the reality of a retributive life after death is a revealed doctrine of the Old Testament, will be found, upon critical examination, either to owe their entire relevant force to mistranslation, or to be fairly refuted by the reasonings already advanced. Professor Stuart admits that he finds only one consideration to show that Moses had any idea of a future retribution; and that is, that the Egyptians expressly believed it; and he is not able to comprehend how Moses, who dwelt so long among them, should be ignorant of it.4 The reasoning is obviously inconsequential. It is not certain that the Egyptians held this doctrine in the time of Moses: it may have prevailed among them before or after, and not during, that period. If they believed it at that time, it may have been an esoteric doctrine, with which he did not become acquainted. If they believed it, and he knew it, he might have classed it with other heathen doctrines, and supposed it false. And, even if he himself believed it, he might possibly not have inculcated it upon the Israelites; and the question is, what he did actually teach, not what he knew.

The opinions of the Jews at the time of the Savior have no bearing upon the point in hand, because they were acquired at a later period than that of the writing of the records we are now considering. They were formed, and gradually grew in consistency and favor, either by the natural progress of thought among the Jews themselves, or, more probably, by a blending of the intimations of the Hebrew Scriptures with Gentile speculations, the doctrines of the Egyptians, Hindus, and Persians. We leave this portion of the subject, then, with the following proposition. In the canonic books of the Old Dispensation there is not a single genuine text, claiming to come from God, which teaches explicitly any doctrine whatever of a life beyond the grave. That doctrine as it existed among the Jews was no part of their pure religion, but was a part of their philosophy. It did not, as they held it, imply any thing like our present idea of the immortality of the soul reaping in the spiritual world what it has sowed in the physical. It simply declared the existence of human ghosts amidst unbroken gloom and stillness in the cavernous depths of the earth, without reward, without punishment, without employment, scarcely with consciousness, as will immediately appear.

We proceed to the second general division of the subject. What does the Old Testament, apart from the revelation claimed to be contained in it, and regarding only those portions of it which are confessedly a collection of the poetry, history, and philosophy of the Hebrews, intimate concerning a future state of existence? Examining these writings with an unbiased mind, we discover that in different portions of them there are large variations and opposition of opinion. In some books we trace an undoubting belief in certain rude notions of the future condition of souls; in other books we encounter unqualified denials of every such thought. "Man lieth down and riseth not," sighs the despairing Job. "The dead cannot praise God, neither any that go down into darkness," wails the repining Psalmist. "All go to one place,"

4 Exegetical Essays, (Andover, 1830,) p. 108.

and "the dead know not any thing," asserts the disbelieving Preacher. These inconsistencies we shall not stop to point out and comment upon. They are immaterial to our present purpose, which is to bring together, in their general agreement, the sum and substance of the Hebrew ideas on this subject.

The separate existence of the soul is necessarily implied by the distinction the Hebrews made between the grave, or sepulchre, and the under world, or abode of shades. The Hebrew words bor and keber mean simply the narrow place in which the dead body is buried; while Sheol represents an immense cavern in the interior of the earth where the ghosts of the deceased are assembled. When the patriarch was told that his son Joseph was slain by wild beasts, he cried aloud, in bitter sorrow, "I will go down to Sheol unto my son, mourning."

He did not expect to meet Joseph in the grave; for he supposed his body torn in pieces and scattered in the wilderness, not laid in the family tomb. The dead are said to be "gathered to their people," or to "sleep with their fathers," and this whether they are interred in the same place or in a remote region. It is written, "Abraham gave up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people," notwithstanding his body was laid in a cave in the field of Machpelah, close by Hebron, while his people were buried in Chaldea and Mesopotamia. "Isaac gave up the ghost and died, and was gathered unto his people;" and then we read, as if it were done afterwards, "His sons, Jacob and Esau, buried him." These instances might be multiplied. They prove that "to be gathered unto one's fathers" means to descend into Sheol and join there the hosts of the departed. A belief in the separate existence of the soul is also involved in the belief in necromancy, or divination, the prevalence of which is shown by the stern laws against those who engaged in its unhallowed rites, and by the history of the witch of Endor. She, it is said, by magical spells evoked the shade of old Samuel from below. It must have been the spirit of the prophet that was supposed to rise; for his body was buried at Ramah, more than sixty miles from Endor. The faith of the Hebrews in the separate existence of the soul is shown, furthermore, by the fact that the language they employed expresses, in every instance, the distinction of body and spirit. They had particular words appropriated to each. "As thy soul liveth," is a Hebrew oath. "With my spirit within me will I seek thee early." "I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body:" the figure here represents the soul in the body as a sword in a sheath. "Our bones are scattered at the mouth of the under world, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth;" that is, the soul, expelled from its case of clay by the murderer's weapon, flees into Sheol and leaves its exuvioe at the entrance. "Thy voice shall be as that of a spirit out of the ground:" the word "Lhere used signifies the shade evoked by a necromancer from the region of death, which was imagined to speak in a feeble whisper.

The term rephaim is used to denote the manes of the departed. The etymology of the word, as well as its use, makes it mean the weak, the relaxed. "I am counted as them that go down into the under world; I am as a man that hath no strength." This faint, powerless condition accords with the idea that they were destitute of flesh, blood, and animal life, mere umbroe. These ghosts are described as being nearly as destitute of sensation as they are of strength. They are called "the inhabitants of the land of stillness." They exist in an inactive, partially torpid state, with a dreamy consciousness of past and present, neither suffering nor enjoying, and seldom moving. Herder says of the Hebrews, "The sad and mournful images of their ghostly realm disturbed them, and were too much for their self possession." Respecting these images, he adds, "Their voluntary force and energy were destroyed. They were feeble as a shade, without distinction of members, as a nerveless breath. They wandered and flitted in the dark nether world." This "wandering and flitting," however, is rather the spirit of Herder's poetry than of that of the Hebrews; for the whole tenor and drift of the representations in the Old Testament show that the state of disembodied souls is deep quietude. Freed from bondage, pain, toil, and care, they repose in silence. The ghost summoned from beneath by the witch of Endor said, "Why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up?" It was, indeed, in a dismal abode that they took their long quiet; but then it was in a place "where the wicked ceased from troubling and the weary were at rest."

Those passages which attribute active employments to the dwellers in the under world are specimens of poetic license, as the context always shows. When Job says, "Before Jehovah the shades beneath tremble," he likewise declares, "The pillars of heaven tremble and are confounded at his rebuke." When Isaiah breaks forth in that stirring lyric to the King of Babylon,

"The under world is in commotion on account of thee, To meet thee at thy coming; It stirreth up before thee the shades, all the mighty of the earth; It arouseth from their thrones all the kings of the nations; They all accost thee, and say, Art thou too become weak as we?"

he also exclaims, in the same connection,

"Even the cypress trees exult over thee, And the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art fallen, No man cometh up to cut us down."

The activity thus vividly described is evidently a mere figure of speech: so is it in the other instances which picture the rephaim as employed and in motion. "Why," complainingly sighed the afflicted patriarch, "why died I not at my birth? For now should I lie down and be quiet; I should slumber; I should then be at rest." And the wise man says, in his preaching, "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol." What has already been said is sufficient to establish the fact that the Hebrews had an idea that the souls of men left their bodies at death and existed as dim shadows, in a state of undisturbed repose, in the bowels of the earth.

Sheol is directly derived from a Hebrew word, signifying, first, to dig or excavate. It means, therefore, a cavity, or empty subterranean place. Its derivation is usually connected, however, with the secondary meaning of the Hebrew word referred to, namely, to ask, to desire, from the notion of demanding, since rapacious Orcus lays claim unsparingly to all; or, as others have fancifully construed it, the object of universal inquiry, the unknown mansion concerning which all are anxiously inquisitive. The place is conceived on an immense scale, shrouded in accompaniments of gloomy grandeur and peculiar awe: an enormous cavern in the earth, filled with night; a stupendous hollow kingdom, to which are poetically attributed valleys and gates, and in which are congregated the slumberous and shadowy hosts of the rephaim, never able to go out of it again forever. Its awful stillness is unbroken by noise. Its thick darkness is uncheered by light. It stretches far down under the ground. It is wonderfully deep. In language that reminds one of Milton's description of hell, where was

"No light, but rather darkness visible,"

Job describes it as "the land of darkness, like the blackness of death shade, where is no order, and where the light is as darkness." The following passages, selected almost at random, will show the ideas entertained of the place, and confirm and illustrate the foregoing statements. "But he considers not that in the valleys of Sheol are her guests." "Now shall I go down into the gates of Sheol." "The ground slave asunder, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all their men, and all their goods: they and all that appertained to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed upon them." Its depth is contrasted with the height of the sky. "Though they dig into Sheol, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down." It is the destination of all; for, though the Hebrews believed in a world of glory above the solid ceiling of the dome of day, where Jehovah and the angels dwelt, there was no promise, hope, or hint that any man could ever go there. The dirge like burden of their poetry was literally these words: "What man is he that liveth and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his spirit from the hand of Sheol?" The old Hebrew graves were crypts, wide, deep holes, like the habitations of the troglodytes. In these subterranean caves they laid the dead down; and so the Grave became the mother of Sheol, a rendezvous of the fathers, a realm of the dead, full of eternal ghost life.

This under world is dreary and altogether undesirable, save as an escape from extreme anguish. But it is not a place of retribution. Jahn says, "That, in the belief of the ancient Hebrews, there were different situations in Sheol for the good and the bad, cannot be proved."5 The sudden termination of the present life is the judgment the Old Testament threatens upon sinners; its happy prolongation is the reward it promises to the righteous. Texts that prove this might be quoted in numbers from almost every page. "The wicked shall be turned into Sheol, and all the nations that forget God," not to be punished there, but as a punishment. It is true, the good and the bad alike pass into that gloomy land; but the former go down tranquilly in a good old age and full of days, as a shock of corn fully ripe cometh in its season, while the latter are suddenly hurried there by an untimely and miserable fate. The man that loves the Lord shall have length of days; the unjust, though for a moment he flourishes, yet the wind bloweth, and where is he?

We shall perhaps gain a more clear and adequate knowledge of the ideas the Hebrews had of the soul and of its fate, by marking the different meanings of the words they used to

5 Biblical Archeology, sect. 314.

denote it. Neshamah, primarily meaning breath or airy effluence, next expresses the Spirit of God as imparting life and force, wisdom and love; also the spirit of man as its emanation, creation, or sustained object. The citation of a few texts in which the word occurs will set this in a full light. "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the spirit of existence, and man became a conscious being." "It is the divine spirit of man, even the inspiration of the Almighty, that giveth him understanding." "The Spirit of God made me, and his breath gave me life."

Ruah signifies, originally, a breathing or blowing. Two other meanings are directly connected with this. First, the vital spirit, the principle of life as manifested in the breath of the mouth and nostrils. "And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh in whose nostrils was the breath of life." Second, the wind, the motions of the air, which the Hebrews supposed caused by the breath of God. "By the blast of thine anger the waters were gathered on an heap." "The channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils." So they regarded the thunder as his voice. "The voice of Jehovah cutteth out the fiery lightnings," and "shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh." This word is also frequently placed for the rational spirit of man, the seat of intellect and feeling. It is likewise sometimes representative of the character and disposition of men, whether good or bad. Hosea speaks of "a spirit of vile lust." In the Second Book of Chronicles we read, "There came out a spirit, and stood before Jehovah, and said, I will entice King Ahab to his destruction. I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets." Belshazzar says to Daniel, "I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee." Finally, it is applied to Jehovah, signifying the divine spirit, or power, by which all animate creatures live, the universe is filled with motion, all extraordinary gifts of skill, genius, strength, or virtue are bestowed, and men incited to forsake evil and walk in the paths of truth and piety. "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created, and thou renewest the face of the earth; thou takest away their breath, they die and return to their dust." "Jehovah will be a spirit of justice in them that sit to administer judgment." It seems to be implied that the life of man, having emanated from the spirit, is to be again absorbed in it, when it is said, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."

Nephesh is but partially a synonym for the word whose significations we have just considered. The different senses it bears are strangely interchanged and confounded in King James's version. Its first meaning is breath, the breathing of a living being. Next it means the vital spirit, the indwelling life of the body. "If any mischief follow, thou shalt take life for life." The most adequate rendering of it would be, in a great majority of instances, by the term life. "In jeopardy of his life [not soul] hath Adonijah spoken this." It sometimes represents the intelligent soul or mind, the subject of knowledge and desire. "My soul knoweth right well.". Also the heart, is often used more frequently perhaps than any other term as meaning the vital principle, and the seat of consciousness, intellect, will, and affection. Jehovah said to Solomon, in answer to his prayer, "Lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart." The later Jews speculated much, with many cabalistic refinements, on these different words. They said many persons were supplied with a Nephesh without a Ruah, much more without a Neshamah. They declared that the Nephesh (Psyche) was the soul of the body, the Ruah (Pneuma) the soul of the Nephesh, and the Neshamah (Nous) the soul of the Ruah. Some of the Rabbins assert that the destination of the Nephesh, when the body dies, is Sheol; of the Ruah, the air; and of the Neshamah, heaven. 6

The Hebrews used all those words in speaking of brutes, to denote their sensitive existence, that they did in reference to men. They held that life was in every instance an emission, or breath, from the Spirit of God. But they do not intimate of brutes, as they do of men, that they have surviving shades. The author of the Book of Ecclesiastes, however, bluntly declares that "all have one breath, and all go to one place, so that a man hath no pre eminence above a beast." As far as the words used to express existence, soul, or mind, legitimate any inference, it would seem to be, either that the essential life is poured out at death as so much air, or else that it is received again by God, in both cases implying naturally, though not of philosophic necessity, the close of conscious, individual existence. But the examination we have made of their real opinions shows that, however obviously this conclusion might flow from their pneumatology, it was not the expectation they cherished. They believed there was a dismal empire in the earth where the rephaim, or ghosts of the dead, reposed forever in a state of semi sleep.

"It is a land of shadows: yea, the land
Itself is but a shadow, and the race
That dwell therein are voices, forms of forms.
And echoes of themselves."

That the Hebrews, during the time covered by their sacred records, had no conception of a retributive life beyond the present, knew nothing of a blessed immortality, is shown by two conclusive arguments, in addition to the positive demonstration afforded by the views which, as we have seen, they did actually hold in regard to the future lot of man. First, they were puzzled, they were troubled and distressed, by the moral phenomena of the present life, the misfortunes of the righteous, the prosperity of the wicked. Read the Book of Ecclesiastes, the Book of Job, some of the Psalms. Had they been acquainted with future reward and punishment, they could easily have solved these problems to their satisfaction. Secondly, they regarded life as the one blessing, death as the one evil. Something of sadness, we may suppose, was in the wise man's tones when he said, "A living dog is better than a dead lion." Obey Jehovah's laws, that thy days may be long in the land he giveth thee; the wicked shall not live out half his days: such is the burden of the Old Testament. It was reserved for a later age to see life and immortality brought to light, and for the disciples of a clearer faith to feel that death is gain.

There are many passages in the Hebrew Scriptures generally supposed and really appearing, upon a slight examination, not afterwards to teach doctrines different from those here stated. We will give two examples in a condensed form. "Thou wilt not leave

6 Tractatus de Anima a R. Moscheh Korduero. In Kabbala Denudata. tom. i. pars ii.

my soul in Sheol: . . . at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore." This text, properly translated and explained, means, Thou wilt not leave me to misfortune and untimely death: . . . in thy royal favor is prosperity and length of days. "I know that my Redeemer liveth:. . . in my flesh I shall see God." The genuine meaning of this triumphant exclamation of faith is, I know that God is the Vindicator of the upright, and that he will yet justify me before I die. A particular examination of the remaining passages of this character with which erroneous conceptions are generally connected would show, first, that in nearly every case these passages are not accurately translated; secondly, that they may be satisfactorily interpreted as referring merely to this life, and cannot by a sound exegesis be explained otherwise; thirdly, that the meaning usually ascribed to them is inconsistent with the whole general tenor, and with numberless positive and explicit statements, of the books in which they are found; fourthly, that if there are, as there dubiously seem to be in some of the Psalms, texts implying the ascent of souls after death to a heavenly life, for example, "Thou shalt guide me with thy countenance, and afterward receive me to glory," they were the product of a late period, and reflect a faith not native to the Hebrews, but first known to them after their intercourse with the Persians.

Christians reject the allegorizing of the Jews, and yet traditionally accept, on their authority, doctrines which can be deduced from their Scriptures in no other way than by the absurd hypothesis of a double or mystic sense. For example, scores of Christian authors have taught the dogma of a general resurrection of the dead, deducing it from such passages as God's sentence upon Adam: "From the dust wast thou taken, and unto the dust shalt thou return;" as Joel's patriotic picture of the Jews victorious in battle, and of the vanquished heathen gathered in the valley of Jehoshaphat to witness their installation as rulers of the earth; and as the declaration of the God of battles: "I am he that kills and that makes alive, that wounds and that heals." And they maintain that the doctrine of immortality is inculcated in such texts as these: when Moses asks to see God, and the reply is, "No man can see me and live;" when Bathsheba bows and says, "Let my lord King David live forever;" and when the sacred poet praises God, saying, "Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling." Such interpretations of Scripture are lamentable in the extreme; their context shows them to be absurd. The meaning is forced into the words, not derived from them.

Such as we have now seen were the ancient Hebrew ideas of the future state. To those who received them the life to come was cheerless, offering no attraction save that of peace to the weary sufferer. On the other hand, it had no terror save the natural revulsion of the human heart from everlasting darkness, silence, and dreams. In view of deliverance from so dreary a fate, by translation through Jesus Christ to the splendors of the world above the firmament, there are many exultations in the Epistles of Paul, and in other portions of the New Testament.

The Hebrew views of the soul and its destiny, as discerned through the intimations of their Scriptures are very nearly what, from a fair consideration of the case, we should suppose they would be, agreeing in the main with the natural speculations of other early nations upon the same subject. These opinions underwent but little alteration until a century or a century and a half before the dawn of the Christian era.

This is shown by the phraseology of the Septuagint version of the Pentateuch, and by the allusions in the so called Apocryphal books. In these, so far as there are any relevant statements or implications, they are of the same character as those which we have explained from the more ancient writings. This is true, with the notable exceptions of the Wisdom of Solomon and the Second Maccabees, neither of which documents can be dated earlier than a hundred and twenty years before Christ. The former contains the doctrine of transmigration. The author says, "Being wise, I came into a body undefiled."7 But, with the exception of this and one other passage, there is little or nothing in the book which is definite on the subject of a future life. It is difficult to tell what the author's real faith was: his words seem rather rhetorical than dogmatic. He says, "To be allied unto wisdom is immortality;" but other expressions would appear to show that by immortality he means merely a deathless posthumous fame, "leaving an eternal memorial of himself to all who shall come after him." Again he declares, "The spirit when it is gone forth returneth not; neither the soul received up cometh again." And here we find, too, the famous text, "God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. Nevertheless, through envy of the devil came death into the world, and they that hold of his side do find it."8 Upon the whole, it is pretty clear that the writer believed in a future life; but the details are too partially and obscurely shadowed to be drawn forth. We may, however, hazard a conjecture on the passage last quoted, especially with the help of the light cast upon it from its evident Persian origin. What is it, expressed by the term "death," which is found by the adherents of the devil distinctively? "Death" cannot here be a metaphor for an inward state of sin and woe, because it is contrasted with the plainly literal phrases, "created to be immortal," "an image of God's eternity." It cannot signify simply physical dissolution, because this is found as well by God's servants as by the devil's. Its genuine meaning is, most probably, a descent into the black kingdom of sadness and silence under the earth, while the souls of the good were "received up."

The Second Book of Maccabees with emphasis repeatedly asserts future retribution and a bodily resurrection. In the seventh chapter a full account is given of seven brothers and their mother who suffered martyrdom, firmly sustained by faith in a glorious reward for their heroic fidelity, to be reaped at the resurrection. One of them says to the tyrant by whose order he was tortured, "As for thee, thou shalt have no resurrection to life." Nicanor, bleeding from many horrible wounds, "plucked out his bowels and cast them upon the throng, and, calling upon the Lord of life and spirit to restore him those again, [at the day of resurrection,] he thus died."9 Other passages in this book to the same effect it is needless to quote. The details lying latent in those we have quoted will soon be illuminated and filled out when we come to treat of the opinions of the Pharisees. 10

7 Cap. viii. 20.

8 Cap. ii. 23, 24.

9 Cap. xiv. 46.

10 See a very able discussion of the relation between the ideas concerning immortality, resurrection, judgment, and retribution, contained in the Old Testament Apocrypha, and those in the New Testament, by Frisch, inserted in Eichhorn's Allgemeine Bibliothek der Biblischen Literatur, band iv. stuck iv.

There lived in Alexandria a very learned Jew named Philo, the author of voluminous writings, a zealous Israelite, but deeply imbued both with the doctrines and the spirit of Plato. He was born about twenty years before Christ, and survived him about thirty years. The weight of his character, the force of his talents, the fascinating adaptation of his peculiar philosophical speculations and of his bold and subtle allegorical expositions of Scripture to the mind of his age and of the succeeding centuries, together with the eminent literary position and renown early secured for him by a concurrence of causes, have combined to make him exert according to the expressed convictions of the best judges, such as Lucke and Norton a greater influence on the history of Christian opinions than any single man, with the exception of the Apostle Paul, since the days of Christ. It is important, and will be interesting, to see some explanation of his views on the subject of a future life. A synopsis of them must suffice.

Philo was a Platonic Alexandrian Jew, not a Zoroastrian Palestinian Pharisee. It was a current saying among the Christian Fathers, "Vel Plato Philonizat, vel Philo Platonizat." He has little to say of the Messiah, nothing to say of the Messianic eschatology. We speak of him in this connection because he was a Jew, flourishing at the commencement of the Christian epoch, and contributing much, by his cabalistic interpretations, to lead Christians to imagine that the Old Testament contained the doctrine of a spiritual immortality connected with a system of rewards and punishments.

Three principal points include the substance of Philo's faith on the subject in hand. He rejected the notion of a resurrection of the body and held to the natural immortality of the soul. He entertained the most profound and spiritual conceptions of the intrinsically deadly nature and wretched fruits of all sin, and of the self contained welfare and self rewarding results of every element of virtue, in themselves, independent of time and place and regardless of external bestowments of woe or joy. He also believed at the same time in contrasted localities above and below, appointed as the residences of the disembodied souls of good and of wicked men. We will quote miscellaneously various passages from him in proof and illustration of these statements:

"Man's bodily form is made from the ground, the soul from no created thing, but from the Father of all; so that, although man was mortal as to his body, he was immortal as to his mind."11 "Complete virtue is the tree of immortal life."12 "Vices and crimes, rushing in through the gate of sensual pleasure, changed a happy and immortal life for a wretched and mortal one."13 Referring to the allegory of the garden of Eden, he says, "The death threatened for eating the fruit was not natural, the separation of soul and body, but penal, the sinking of the soul in the body."14 "Death is twofold, one of man, one of the soul. The death of man is the separation of the soul from the body; the death of the soul is the corruption of virtue

11 Mangey's edition of Philo's works, vol. i. p. 32.

12 Ibid. p. 38.

13 Ibid. p. 37.

14 Ibid. p. 65.

and the assumption of vice."15 "To me, death with the pious is preferable to life with the impious. For those so dying, deathless life delivers; but those so living, eternal death seizes."16 He writes of three kinds of life, "one of which neither ascends nor cares to ascend, groping in the secret recesses of Hades and rejoicing in the most lifeless life."17 Commenting on the promise of the Lord to Abram, that he should be buried in a good old age, Philo observes that "A polished, purified soul does not die, but emigrates: it is of an inextinguishable and deathless race, and goes to heaven, escaping the dissolution and corruption which death seems to introduce."18 "A vile life is the true Hades, despicable and obnoxious to every sort of execration." 19 "Different regions are set apart for different things, heaven for the good, the confines of the earth for the bad."20 He thinks the ladder seen by Jacob in his dream "is a figure of the air, which, reaching from earth to heaven, is the house of unembodied souls, the image of a populous city having for citizens immortal souls, some of whom descend into mortal bodies, but soon return aloft, calling the body a sepulchre from which they hasten, and, on light wings seeking the lofty ether, pass eternity in sublime contemplations."21 "The wise inherit the Olympic and heavenly region to dwell in, always studying to go above; the bad, the innermost parts of Hades, always laboring to die."22 He literally accredits the account, in the sixteenth chapter of Numbers, of the swallowing of Korah and his company, saying, "The earth opened and took them alive into Hades."23 "Ignorant men regard death as the end of punishments, whereas in the Divine judgment it is scarcely the beginning of them."24 He describes the meritorious man as "fleeing to God and receiving the most intimate honor of a firm place in heaven; but the reprobate man is dragged below, down to the very lowest place, to Tartarus itself and profound darkness."25 "He who is not firmly held by evil may by repentance return to virtue, as to the native land from which he has wandered. But he who suffers from incurable vice must endure its dire penalties, banished into the place of the impious until the whole of eternity."26

Such, then, was the substance of Philo's opinions on the theme before us, as indeed many more passages, which we have omitted as superfluous, might be cited from him to show. Man was made originally a mortal body and an immortal soul. He should have been happy and pure while in the body, and on leaving it have soared up to the realm of light and bliss on high, to join the angels. "Abraham, leaving his mortal part, was added to the people of God,

15 Ibid. p. 65.

16 Ibid. p. 233.

17 Ibid. p. 479.

18 Ibid. p. 513.

19 Ibid. p. 527.

20 Ibid. p. 555.

21 Ibid. p. 641, 642.

22 Ibid. p. 643.

23 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 178.

24 Ibid. p. 419.

25 Mangey's edition of Philo's Works, vol. ii. p. 433.

26 Ibid. vol. i. p. 139.

enjoying immortality and made similar to the angels. For the angels are the army of God, bodiless and happy souls."27 But, through the power of evil, all who yield to sin and vice lose that estate of bright and blessed immortality, and become discordant, wretched, despicable, and, after the dissolution of the body, are thrust down to gloom and manifold just retribution in Hades. He believed in the pre existence, and in a limited transmigration, of souls. Here he leaves the subject, saying nothing of a resurrection or final restoration, and not speculating as to any other of the details. 28

We pass on to speak of the Jewish sects at the time of Christ. There were three of these, cardinally differing from each other in their theories of the future fate of man. First, there were the skeptical, materialistic Sadducees, wealthy, proud, few. They openly denied the existence of any disembodied souls, avowing that men utterly perished in the grave. "The cloud faileth and passeth away: so he that goeth down to the grave doth not return."29 We read in the Acts of the Apostles, "The Sadducees say there is no resurrection, neither angel nor spirit." At the same time they accepted the Pentateuch, only rejecting or explaining away those portions of it which relate to the separate existence of souls and to their subterranean abode. They strove to confound their opponents, the advocates of a future life, by such perplexing questions as the one they addressed to Jesus, asking, in the case of a woman who had had seven successive husbands, which one of them should be her husband in the resurrection. All that we can gather concerning the Sadducees from the New Testament is amply confirmed by Josephus, who explicitly declares, "Their doctrine is that souls die with the bodies."

The second sect was the ascetical and philosophical Essenes, of whom the various information given by Philo in his celebrated paper on the Therapeuta agrees with the account in Josephus and with the scattered gleams in other sources. The doctrine of the Essenes on the subject of our present inquiry was much like that of Philo himself; and in some particulars it remarkably resembles that of many Christians. They rejected the notion of the resurrection of the body, and maintained the inherent immortality of the soul. They said that "the souls of men, coming out of the most subtle and pure air, are bound up in their bodies as in so many prisons; but, being freed at death, they do rejoice, and are borne aloft where a state of happy life forever is decreed for the virtuous; but the vicious are assigned to eternal punishment in a dark, cold place." 30 Such sentiments appear to have inspired the heroic Eleazar, whose speech to his followers is reported by Josephus, when they were besieged at Masada, urging them to rush on the foe, "for death is better than life, is the only true life, leading the soul to infinite freedom and joy above."31

27 Ibid. p. 164.

28 See, in the Analekten of Keil and Tzschirner, band i stuck ii., an article by Dr. Schreiter, entitled Philo's Ideen uber Unsterblichkeit, Auferstehung, und Vergeltung.

29 Lightfoot in Matt. xxii. 23.

30 Josephus, De Bell. lib. ii. cap. 8.

31 Ibid. lib. vii. cap. 8.

But by far the most numerous and powerful of the Jewish sects at that time, and ever since, were the eclectic, traditional, formalist Pharisees: eclectic, inasmuch as their faith was formed by a partial combination of various systems; traditional, since they allowed a more imperative sway to the authority of the Fathers, and to oral legends and precepts, than to the plain letter of Scripture; formalist, for they neglected the weightier spiritual matters of the law in a scrupulous tithing of mint, cumin, and anise seed, a pretentious wearing of broad phylacteries, an uttering of long prayers in the streets, and the various other hypocritical priestly paraphernalia of a severe mechanical ritual.

From Josephus we learn that the Pharisees believed that the souls of the faithful that is, of all who punctiliously observed the law of Moses and the traditions of the elders would live again by transmigration into new bodies; but that the souls of all others, on leaving their bodies, were doomed to a place of confinement beneath, where they must abide forever. These are his words: "The Pharisees believe that souls have an immortal strength in them, and that in the under world they will experience rewards or punishments according as they have lived well or ill in this life. The righteous shall have power to live again, but sinners shall be detained in an everlasting prison."32 Again, he writes, "The Pharisees say that all souls are incorruptible, but that only the souls of good men are removed into other bodies."33 The fragment entitled "Concerning Hades," formerly attributed to Josephus, is now acknowledged on all sides to be a gross forgery. The Greek culture and philosophical tincture with which he was imbued led him to reject the doctrine of a bodily resurrection; and this is probably the reason why he makes no allusion to that doctrine in his account of the Pharisees. That such a doctrine was held among them is plain from passages in the New Testament, passages which also shed light upon the statement actually made by Josephus. Jesus says to Martha, "Thy brother shall rise again." She replies, "I know that he shall rise in the resurrection, at the last day." Some of the Pharisees, furthermore, did not confine the privilege or penalty of transmigration, and of the resurrection, to the righteous. They once asked Jesus, "Who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Plainly, he could not have been born blind for his own sins unless he had known a previous life. Paul, too, says of them, in his speech at Casarea, "They themselves also allow that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust." This, however, is very probably an exception to their prevailing belief. Their religious intolerance, theocratic pride, hereditary national vanity, and sectarian formalism, often led them to despise and overlook the Gentile world, haughtily restricting the boon of a renewed life to the legal children of Abraham.

But the grand source now open to us of knowledge concerning the prevailing opinions of the Jews on our present subject at and subsequent to the time of Christ is the Talmud. This is a collection of the traditions of the oral law, (Mischna,) with the copious precepts and comments (Gemara) of the most learned and authoritative Rabbins. It is a wonderful monument of myths and fancies, profound speculations and ridiculous puerilities, antique

32 Antiq. lib. xviii. cap. 1.33 De Bell. lib. ii. cap. 8.

legends and cabalistic subtleties, crowned and loaded with the national peculiarities. The Jews reverence it extravagantly, saying, "The Bible is salt, the Mischna pepper, the Gemara balmy spice." Rabbi Solomon ben Joseph sings, in our poet's version,

"The Kabbala and Talmud hoar Than all the Prophets prize I more;
For water is all Bible lore, But Mischna is pure wine."

The rambling character and barbarous dialect of this work have joined with various other causes to withhold from it far too much of the attention of Christian critics. Saving by old Lightfoot and Pocock, scarcely a contribution has ever been offered us in English from this important field. The Germans have done far better; and numerous huge volumes, the costly fruits of their toils, are standing on neglected shelves. The eschatological views derived from this source are authentically Jewish, however closely they may resemble some portion of the popular Christian conceptions upon the same subject. The correspondences between some Jewish and some Christian theological dogmas betoken the influx of an adulterated Judaism into a nascent Christianity, not the reflex of a pure Christianity upon a receptive Judaism. It is important to show this; and it appears from several considerations. In the first place, it is demonstrable, it is unquestioned, that at least the germs and outlines of the dogmas referred to were in actual existence among the Pharisees before the conflict between Christianity and Judaism arose.Secondly, in the Rabbinical writings these dogmas are most fundamental, vital, and pervading, in relation to the whole system; but in the Christian they seem subordinate and incidental, have every appearance of being ingrafts, not outgrowths. Thirdly, in the apostolic age Judaism was a consolidated, petrified system, defended from outward influence on all sides by an invulnerable bigotry, a haughty exclusiveness; while Christianity was in a young and vigorous, an assimilating and formative, state. Fourthly, the overweening sectarian vanity and scorn of the Jews, despising, hating, and fearing the Christians, would not permit them to adopt peculiarities of belief from the latter; but the Christians were undeniably Jews in almost every thing except in asserting the Messiahship of Jesus: they claimed to be the genuine Jews, children of the law and realizers of the promise. The Jewish dogmas, therefore, descended to them as a natural lineal inheritance. Finally, in the Acts of the Apostles, the letters of Paul, and the progress of the Ebionites, (which sect included nearly all the Christians of the first century,) we can trace step by step the actual workings, in reliable history, of the process that we affirm, namely, the assimilation of Jewish elements into the popular Christianity.

Greek and Roman Doctrine of A Future Life

THE disembodied soul, as conceived by the Greeks, and after them by the Romans, is material, but of so thin a contexture that it cannot be felt with the hands. It is exhaled with the dying breath, or issues through a warrior's wounds. The sword passes through its uninjured form as through the air. It is to the body what a dream is to waking action. Retaining the shape, lineaments, and motion the man had in life, it is immediately recognised upon appearing. It quits the body with much reluctance, leaving that warm and vigorous investiture for a chill and forceless existence. It glides along without noise and very swiftly, like a shadow. It is unable to enter the lower kingdom and be at peace until its deserted body has been buried with sacred rites: meanwhile, naked and sad, it flits restlessly about the gates, uttering doleful moans.

The early Greek authors describe the creation as a stupendous hollow globe cut in the centre by the plane of the earth. The upper hemisphere is lighted by beneficent luminaries; the lower hemisphere is filled with unvarying blackness. The top of the higher sphere is Heaven, the bright dwelling of the Olympian gods; its bottom is the surface of the earth, the home of living men. The top of the lower sphere is Hades, the abode of the ghosts of the dead; its bottom is Tartarus, the prison of the Titans, rebellious giants vanquished by Zeus. Earth lies half way from the cope of Heaven to the floor of Tartarus. This distance is so great that, according to Hesiod, it would take an anvil nine days to fall from the centre to the nadir. Some of the ancients seem to have surmised the sphericity of the earth, and to have thought that Hades was simply its dark side, the dead being our antipodes. In the Odyssey, Ulysses reaches Hades by sailing across the ocean stream and passing the eternal night land of the Cimmerians, whereupon he comes to the edge of Acheron, the moat of Pluto's sombre house. Virgil also says, "One pole of the earth to us always points aloft; but the other is seen by black Styx and the infernal ghosts, where either dead night forever reigns or else Aurora returns thither from us and brings them back the day."1 But the prevalent notion evidently was that Hades was an immense hollow region not far under the surface of the ground, and that it was to be reached by descent through some cavern, like that at Avernus.

This subterranean place is the destination of all alike, rapacious Orcus sparing no one, good or bad. It is wrapped in obscurity, as the etymology of its name implies, a place where one cannot see.

"No sun e'er gilds the gloomy horrors there; No cheerful gales refresh the stagnant air."

The dead are disconsolate in this dismal realm, and the living shrink from entering it, except as a refuge from intolerable afflictions. The shade of the princeliest hero dwelling there the

1 Georg. lib. i. II. 242-250.

swift footed Achilles says, "I would wish, being on earth, to serve for hire another man of poor estate, rather than rule over all the dead." Souls carry there their physical peculiarities, the fresh and ghastly likenesses of the wounds which have despatched them thither, so that they are known at sight. Companies of fellow countrymen, knots of friends, are together there, preserving their remembrance ofearthly fortunes and beloved relatives left behind, and eagerly questioning each newly arriving soul for tidings from above. When the soul of Achilles is told of the glorious deeds of Neoptolemus, "he goes away taking mighty steps through the meadow of asphodel in joyfulness, because he had heard that his son was very illustrious."2 Sophocles makes the dying Antigone say, "Departing, I strongly cherish the hope that I shall be fondly welcomed by my father, and by my mother, and by my brother."3 It is important to notice that, according to the early and popular view, this Hades, the "dark dwelling of the joyless images of deceased mortals," is the destination of universal humanity. In opposition to its dolorous gloom and repulsive inanity are vividly pictured the glad light of day, the glory and happiness of life. "Not worth so much to me as my life," says the incomparable son of Peleus, "are all the treasures which populous Troy possessed, nor all which the stony threshold of Phoebus Apollo contains in rocky Pytho. Oxen, and fat sheep, and trophies, and horses with golden manes, may be acquired by effort; but the breath of man to return again is not to be obtained by plunder nor by purchase, when once it has passed the barrier of his teeth."

It is not probable that all the ornamental details associated by the poets with the fate and state of the dead as they are set forth, for instance, by Virgil in the sixth book of the Aneid were ever credited as literal truth. But there is no reason to doubt that the essential features of this mythological scenery were accepted in the vulgar belief. For instance, that the popular mind honestly held that, in some vague sense or other, the ghost, on leaving the body, flitted down to the dull banks of Acheron and offered a shadowy obolus to Charon, the slovenly old ferryman, for a passage in his boat, seems attested not only by a thousand averments to that effect in the current literature of the time, but also by the invariable custom of placing an obolus in the dead man's mouth for that purpose when he was buried.

The Greeks did not view the banishment of souls in Hades as a punishment for sin, or the result of any broken law in the plan of things. It was to them merely the fulfilment of the inevitable fate of creatures who must die, in the order of nature, like successive growths of flowers, and whose souls were too feeble to rank with gods and climb into Olympus. That man should cease from his substantial life on the bright earth and subside into sunless Hades, a vapid form, with nerveless limbs and faint voice, a ghostly vision bemoaning his existence with idle lamentation, or busying himself with the misty mockeries of his former pursuits, was melancholy enough; but it was his natural destiny, and not an avenging judgment.

But that powerful instinct in man which desires to see villany punished and goodness rewarded could not fail, among so cultivated a people as the Greeks, to develop a doctrine of future compensation for the contrasted deserts of souls. The earliest trace of the idea of

2 Odyssey, lib. xi. II. 538, 539.

3 Antigone, II. 872-874.

retribution which we find carried forward into the invisible world is the punishment of the Titans, those monsters who tried by piling up mountains to storm the heavenly abodes, and to wrest the Thunderer's bolts from his hand. This germ is slowly expanded; and next we read of a few specified criminals, who had been excessively impious, personally offending Zeus, condemned by his direct indignation to a severe expiation in Tartarus. The insulted deity wreaks his vengeance on the tired Sisyphus, the mocked Tantalus, the gnawed Tityus, and others. Afterwards we meet the statement that condign retribution is always inflicted for the two flagrant sins of perjury and blasphemy. Finally, we discern a general prevalence of the belief that punishment is decreed, not by vindictive caprice, but on the grounds of universal morality, all souls being obliged in Hades to pass before Rhadamanthus, Minos, or Aacus, three upright judges, to be dealt with, according to their merits, with impartial accuracy. The distribution of poetic justice in Hades at last became, in many authors, so melodramatic as to furnish a fair subject for burlesque. Some ludicrous examples of this may be seen in Lucian's Dialogues of the Dead. A fine instance of it is also furnished in the Emperor Julian's Symposium. The gods prepare for the Roman emperors a banquet, in the air, below the moon. The good emperors are admitted to the table with honors; but the bad ones are hurled headlong down into Tartarus, amidst the derisive shouts of the spectators.

As the notion that the wrath of the gods would pursue their enemies in the future state gave rise to a belief in the punishments of Tartarus, so the notion that the distinguishing kindness of the gods would follow their favorites gave rise to the myth of Elysium. The Elysian Fields were earliest portrayed lying on the western margin of the earth, stretching from the verge of Oceanus, where the sun set at eve. They were fringed with perpetual green, perfumed with the fragrance of flowers, and eternally fanned by refreshing breezes. They were represented merely as the select abode of a small number of living men, who were either the mortal relatives or the special favorites of the gods, and who were transported thither without tasting death, there to pass an immortality which was described, with great inconsistency, sometimes as purely happy, sometimes as joyless and wearisome. To all except a few chosen ones this region was utterly inaccessible. Homer says, "But for you, O Menelaus, it is not decreed by the gods to die; but the immortals will send you to the Elysian plain, because you are the son in law of Zeus."4 Had the inheritance of this clime been proclaimed as the reward of heroic merit, had it been really believed attainable by virtue, it would have been held up as a prize to be striven for. The whole account, as it was at first, bears the impress of imaginative fiction as legibly upon its front as the story of the dragon watched garden of Hesperus's daughters, whose trees bore golden apples, or the story of the enchanted isle in the Arabian tales.

The early location of Elysium, and the conditions of admission to it, were gradually changed; and at length it reappeared, in the under world, as the abode of the just. On one side of the primitive Hades Tartarus had now been drawn up to admit the condemned into its penal tortures, and on the other side Elysium was lowered down to reward the justified by receiving them into its peaceful and perennial happiness; while, between the two, Erebus

4 Odyssey, lib. iv. II. 555-570.

remained as an intermediate state of negation and gloom for unsentenced shades. The highly colored descriptions of this subterranean heaven, frequently found thenceforth, it is to be supposed were rarely accepted as solid verities. They were scarcely ever used, to our knowledge, as motives in life, incitement in difficulties, consolation in sorrow. They were mostly set forth in poems, works even professedly fictitious. They were often denied and ridiculed in speeches and writings received with public applause. Still, they unquestionably exerted some influence on the common modes of thought and feeling, had a shadowy seat in the popular imagination and heart, helped men to conceive of a blessed life hereafter and to long for it, and took away something of the artificial horror with which, under the power of rooted superstition, their departing ghosts hailed the dusky limits of futurity:

"Umbra Non tacitas Erebi sedes, Ditisque profundi Pallida regna petunt."

First, then, from a study of the Greek mythology we find all the dead a dull populace of ghosts fluttering through the neutral melancholy of Hades without discrimination. And finally we discern in the world of the dead a sad middle region, with a Paradise on the right and a Hell on the left, the whole presided over by three incorruptible judges, who appoint the new corners their places in accordance with their deserts.

The question now arises, What did the Greeks think in relation to the ascent of human souls into heaven among the gods? Did they except none from the remediless doom of Hades? Was there no path for the wisest and best souls to climb starry Olympus? To dispose of this inquiry fairly, four distinct considerations must be examined. First, Ulysses sees in the infernal regions the image of Herakles shooting the shadows of the Stymphalian birds, while his soul is said to be rejoicing with fair legged Hebe at the banquets of the immortal gods in the skies. To explain this, we must remember that Herakles was the son of Alcmene, a mortal woman, and of Zeus, the king of the gods. Accordingly, in the flames on Mount Oeta, the surviving ghost which he derived from his mother descends to Hades, but the purified soul inherited from his father has the proper nature and rank of a deity, and is received into the Olympian synod.5 Of course no blessed life in heaven for the generality of men is here implied. Herakles, being a son and favorite of Zeus, has a corresponding destiny exceptional from that of other men.

Secondly, another double representation, somewhat similar, but having an entirely different interpretation, occurs in the case of Orion, the handsome Hyrian hunter whom Artemis loved. At one time he is described, like the spectre of the North American Indian, chasing over the Stygian plain the disembodied animals he had in his lifetime killed on the mountains:

"Swift through the gloom a giant hunter flies: A ponderous brazen mace, with direful sway, Aloft he whirls to crush the savage prey;

5 Ovid, Met. lib. ix. II. 245-272.

Grim beasts in trains, that by his truncheon fell, Now, phantom forms, shoot o'er the lawn of hell."

In the common belief this, without doubt, was received as actual fact. But at another time Orion is deified and shown as one of the grandest constellations of the sky,

"A belted giant, who, with arm uplift, Threatening the throne of
Zeus, forever stands, Sublimely impious."

This, obviously, is merely a poetic symbol, a beautiful artifice employed by the poets to perpetuate a legend by associating it with the imperishable hieroglyphs of the galaxy. It is not credible that men imagined that group of stars only outlined in such shape by the help of arbitrary fancy to be literally the translated hunter himself. The meaning simply was that he was immortalized through the eternal linking of his name and form with a stellar cluster which would always shine upon men. "The reverence and gratitude of a weak world for the heroes and benefactors they could not comprehend, named them divinities, whom they did star together to an idolatrous immortality which nationalized the heavens" with the shining shapes of the great and brave. These types of poetry, symbols lent to infant science, were never meant to indicate a literal translation and metamorphosis of human souls, but were honors paid to the memories of illustrious men, emblems and pledged securities of their unfading fame. With what glorious characters, with what forms of deathless beauty, defiant of decay, the sky was written over! Go out this evening beneath the old rolling dome, when the starry scroll is outspread, and you may still read the reveries of the marvelling minds of the antique world, as fresh in their magic loveliness as when the bards and seers of Olympus and the Agean first stamped them in heaven. There "the great snake binds in his bright coil half the mighty host." There is Arion with his harp and the charmed dolphin. The fair Andromeda, still chained to her eternal rock, looks mournfully towards the delivering hero whose conquering hand bears aloft the petrific visage of Medusa. Far off in the north the gigantic Bootes is seen driving towards the Centaur and the Scorpion. And yonder, smiling benignantly upon the crews of many a home bound ship, are revealed the twin brothers, joined in the embrace of an undying friendship.

Thirdly, it is asserted by several Latin authors, in general terms, that the ghost goes to Hades but the soul ascends to heaven; and it has been inferred most erroneously that this statement contains the doctrine of an abode for men after death on high with the gods. Ovid expresses the real thought in full, thus:

"Terra tegit carnem; tumulum circumvolat umbra; Orcus habet manes; spiritus astra petit."

"The earth conceals the flesh; the shade flits round the tomb; the under world receives the image; the spirit seeks the stars." Those conversant with the opinions then prevalent will scarcely doubt that these words were meant to express the return of the composite man to the primordial elements of which he was made. The particulars of the dissolving individual are absorbed in the general elements of the universe. Earth goes back to earth, ghost to the realm of ghosts, breath to the air, fiery essence of soul to the lofty ether in whose pure radiance the stars burn. Euripides expressly says that when man dies each part goes whence it came, "the body to the ground, the spirit to the ether."6 Therefore the often misunderstood phrase of the Roman writers, "the soul seeks the stars," merely denotes the impersonal mingling after death of the divine portion of man's being with the parent Divinity, who was supposed indeed to pervade all things, but more especially to reside beyond the empyrean.

Fourthly: what shall be said of the apotheosis of their celebrated heroes and emperors by the Greeks and Romans, whereby these were elevated to the dignity of deities, and seats were assigned them in heaven? What was the meaning of this ceremony? It does not signify that a celestial immortality awaits all good men; because it appears as a thing attainable by very few, is only allotted by vote of the Senate. Neither was it supposed actually to confer on its recipients equality of attributes with the great gods, making them peers of Zeus and Apollo. The homage received as gods by Alexander and others during their lives, the deification of Julius Casar during the most learned and skeptical age of Rome, with other obvious considerations, render such a supposition inadmissible. In view of all the direct evidence and collateral probabilities, we conclude that the genuine import of an ancient apotheosis was this: that the soul of the deceased person so honored was admitted, in deference to his transcendent merits, or as a special favor on the part of the gods, into heaven, into the divine society. He was really a human soul still, but was called a god because, instead of descending, like the multitude of human souls, to Hades, he was taken into the abode and company of the gods above the sky. This interpretation derives support from the remarkable declaration of Aristotle, that "of two friends one must be unwilling that the other should attain apotheosis, because in such case they must be forever separated."7 One would be in Olympus, the other in Hades. The belief that any, even a favored few, could ever obtain this blessing, was of quite limited development, and probably sprang from the esoteric recesses of the Mysteries. To call a human soul a god is not so bold a speech as it may seem. Plotinus says. "Whoever has wisdom and true virtue in soul itself differs but little from superior beings, in this alone being inferior to them, that he is in body. Such an one, dying, may therefore properly say, with Empedocles, 'Farewell! a god immortal now am I.'"

The expiring Vespasian exclaimed, "I shall soon be a god."8 Mure says that the doctrine of apotheosis belonged to the Graco Pelasgic race through all their history.9 Seneca severely satirizes the ceremony, and the popular belief which upheld it, in an elaborate lampoon called Apocolocyntosis, or the reception of Claudius among the pumpkins. The broad travesty of

6 The Suppliants, l. 533.

7 Nicomachean Ethics, lib. viii. cap. 7.

8 Suetonius, cap. xxiii.

9 Hist. Greek Literature, vol. i. ch. 2, sect. 5.

Deification exhibited in Pumpkinification obviously measures the distance from the honest credulity of one class and period to the keen infidelity of another.

One of the most important passages in Greek literature, in whatever aspect viewed, is composed of the writings of the great Theban lyrist. Let us see what representation is there made of the fate of man in the unseen world. The ethical perception, profound feeling, and searching mind of Pindar could not allow him to remain satisfied with the undiscriminating views of the future state prevalent in his time. Upon such a man the problem of death must weigh as a conscious burden, and his reflections would naturally lead him to improved conclusions. Accordingly, we find him representing the Blessed Isles not as the haven of a few favorites of the gods, but as the reward of virtue; and the punishments of the wicked, too, are not dependent on fickle inclinations, but are decreed by immutable right. He does not describe the common multitude of the dead, leading a dark sad existence, like phantoms in a dream: his references to death and Hades seem cheerful in comparison with those of many other ancient Greek authors. Dionysius the Rhetorician, speaking of his Threnes, dirges sung at funerals, says, "Simonides lamented the dead pathetically, Pindar magnificently."

His conceptions of the life to come were inseparably connected with certain definite locations. He believed Hades to be the destination of all our mortal race, but conceived it subdivided into a Tartarus for the impious and an Elysium for the righteous. He thought that the starry firmament was the solid floor of a world of splendor, bliss, and immortality, inhabited by the gods, but fatally inaccessible to man. When he thinks of this place, it is with a sigh, a sigh that man's aspirations towards it are vain and his attempts to reach it irreverent. This latter thought he enforces by an earnest allusion to the myth of Bellerophon, who, daring to soar to the cerulean seat of the gods on the winged steed Pegasus, was punished for his arrogance by being hurled down headlong. These assertions are to be sustained by citations of his own words. The references made are to Donaldson's edition.

In the second Pythian Ode10 Pindar repeats, and would appear to endorse, the old monitory legend of Ixion, who for his outrageous crimes was bound to an ever revolving wheel in Hades and made to utter warnings against such offences as his own. In the first Pythian we read, "Hundred headed Typhon, enemy of the gods, lies in dreadful Tartarus."11 Among the preserved fragments of Pindar the one numbered two hundred and twenty three reads thus: "The bottom of Tartarus shall press thee down with solid necessities." The following is from the first Isthmian Ode: "He who, laying up private wealth, laughs at the poor, does not consider that he shall close up his life for Hades without honor."12 The latter part of the tenth Nemean Ode recounts, with every appearance of devout belief, the history of Castor and Pollux, the god begotten twins, who, reversing conditions with each other on successive days and nights, spent their interchangeable immortality each alternately in heaven and in Hades. The astronomical interpretation of this account may be correct; but its applicability to the wondering faith of the earlier poets is extremely doubtful.

10 L. 39
11 Li. 15, 16
12 L. 68

The seventh Isthmian contains this remarkable sentence: "Unequal is the fate of man: he can think of great things, but is too ephemeral a creature to reach the brazen floored seat of the gods."13 A similar sentiment is expressed in the sixth Nemean: "Men are a mere nothing; while to the gods the brazen heaven remains a firm abode forever."14 The one hundred and second fragment is supposed to be a part of the dirge composed by Pindar on the death of the grandfather of Pericles. It runs in this way: "Whoso by good fortune has seen the things in the hollow under the earth knows indeed the end of life: he also knows the beginning vouchsafed by Zeus." It refers to initiation in the Eleusinian Mysteries, and means that the initiate understands the life which follows death. It is well known that a clear doctrine of future retribution was inculcated in the Mysteries long before it found general publication. The ninety fifth fragment is all that remains to us of a dirge which appears, from the allusion in the first line, to have been sung at a funeral service performed at midnight, or at least after sunset. "While it is night here with us, to those below shines the might of the sun; and the red rosied meadows of their suburbs are filled with the frankincense tree, and with golden fruits. Some delight themselves there with steeds and exercises, others with games, others with lyres; and among them all fair blossoming fortune blooms, and a fragrance is distilled through the lovely region, and they constantly mingle all kinds of offerings with the far shining fire on the altars of the gods." This evidently is a picture of the happy scenes in the fields that stretch around the City of the Blessed in the under world, and is introduced as a comfort to the mourners over the dead body.

The ensuing passage the most important one on our subject is from the second Olympic Ode.15 "An honorable, virtuous man may rest assured as to his future fate. The souls of the lawless, departing from this life, suffer punishment. One beneath the earth, pronouncing sentence by a hateful necessity imposed upon him, declares the doom for offences committed in this realm of Zeus. But the good lead a life without a tear, among those honored by the gods for having always delighted in virtue: the others endure a life too dreadful to look upon. Whoever has had resolution thrice in both worlds to stand firm, and to keep his soul pure from evil, has found the path of Zeus to the tower of Kronos, where the airs of the ocean breathe around the Isle of the Blessed, and where some from resplendent trees, others from the water glitter golden flowers, with garlandsofwhich they wreathe their wrists and brows in the righteous assemblies of Rhadamanthus, whom father Kronos has as his willing assistant." The "path of Zeus," in the above quotation, means the path which Zeus takes when he goes to visit his father Kronos, whom he originally dethroned and banished, but with whom he is now reconciled, and who has become the ruler of the departed spirits of the just, in a peaceful and joyous region.

The following passage constitutes the ninety eighth fragment. "To those who descend from a fruitless and ill starred life Persephone [the Queen of the Dead] will grant a compensation for their former misfortune, after eight years [the judicial period of atonement and lustration for great crimes] granting them their lives again. Then, illustrious kings, strong,

13 Ll. 42-44.

14 Ll. 4-6.

15 Ll. 55-78.

swift, wise, they shall become the mightiest leaders; and afterwards they shall be invoked by men as sacred heroes." In this piece, as in the preceding one where reference is made to the thrice living man, is contained the doctrine, early brought from the East, that souls may repeatedly return from the dead and in new bodies lead new lives. One other fragment, the ninety sixth, added to the foregoing, will make up all the important genuine passages in Pindar relating to the future life. "By a beneficent allotment, all travel to an end freeing from toil. The body indeed is subject to the power of death; but the eternal image is left alive, and this alone is allied to the gods. When we are asleep, it shows in many dreams the approaching judgment concerning happiness and misery." When our physical limbs are stretched in insensible repose, the inward spirit, rallying its sleepless and prophetic powers, foretells the balancing awards of another world.

We must not wholly confound with the mythological schemes of the vulgar creed the belief of the nobler philosophers, many of whom, as is well known, cherished an exalted faith in the survival of the conscious soul and in a just retribution. "Strike!" one of them said, with the dauntless courage of an immortal, to a tyrant who had threatened to have him brayed in a mortar: "strike! you may crush the shell of Anaxarchus: you cannot touch his life." Than all the maze of fabulous fancies and physical rites in which the dreams of the poets and the guesses of the people were entangled, how much more

"Just was the prescience of the eternal goalThat gleamed, 'mid Cyprian shades, on Zeno's soul, Or shone to Plato in the lonely cave, God in all space, and life in every grave!"

An account of the Greek views on the subject of a future life which should omit the doctrine of Plato would be defective indeed. The influence of this sublime autocrat in the realms of intellect has transcended calculation. However coldly his thoughts may have been regarded by his contemporary countrymen, they soon obtained cosmopolitan audience, and surviving the ravages of time and ignorance, overleaping the bars of rival schools and sects, appreciated and diffused by the loftiest spirits of succeeding ages, closely blended with their own speculations by many Christian theologians have held an almost unparalleled dominion over the minds of millions of men for more than fifty generations.

In the various dialogues of Plato, written at different periods of his life, there are numerous variations and inconsistencies of doctrine. There are also many mythical passages obviously intended as symbolic statements, poetic drapery, by no means to be handled or looked at as the severe outlines of dialectic truth. Furthermore, in these works there are a vast number of opinions and expressions introduced by the interlocutors, who often belong to antagonistic schools of philosophy, and for which, of course, Plato is not to be held responsible. Making allowance for these facts, and resolutely grappling with the many other difficulties of the task, we shall now attempt to exhibit what we consider were the real teachings of Plato in relation to the fate of the soul. This exposition, sketchy as it is, and open to question as it may be in some particulars, is the carefully weighed result of earnest, patient, and repeated study of all the relevant passages.

In the first place, it is plain that Plato had a firm religious and philosophical faith in the immortality of the soul, which was continually attracting his thoughts, making it a favorite theme with him and exerting no faint influence on his life. This faith rested both on ancient traditions, to which he frequently refers with invariable reverence, and on metaphysical reasonings, which he over and over presents in forms of conscientious elaboration. There are two tests of his sincerity of faith: first, that he always treats the subject with profound seriousness; secondly, that he always uses it as a practical motive. "I do not think," said Socrates, "that any one who should now hear us, even though he were a comic poet, would say that I am talking idly."16 Again, referring to Homer's description of the judgments in Hades, he says, "I, therefore, Callicles, am persuaded by these accounts, and consider how I may exhibit my soul before the judge in the most healthy condition."17 "To a base man no man nor god is a friend on earth while living, nor under it when dead," say the souls of their ancestors to the living; "but live honorably, and when your destined fate brings you below you shall come to us as friends to friends."18 "We are plants, not of earth, but of heaven."19 We start, then, with the affirmation that Plato honestly and cordially believed in a future life.

Secondly, his ethical and spiritual beliefs, like those of nearly all the ancients, were closely interwoven with physical theories and local relations. The world to him consisted of two parts, the celestial region of ideas, and the mundane region of material phenomena, corresponding pretty well, as Lewes suggests, to our modern conception of heaven and earth. Near the close of the Phado, Socrates says that the earth is not of the kind and magnitude usually supposed. "We dwell in a decayed and corroded, muddy and filthy region in the sediment and hollows of the earth, and imagine that we inhabit its upper parts; just as if one dwelling in the bottom of the sea should think that he dwelt on the sea, and, beholding the sun through the water, should imagine that the sea was the heavens. So, if we could fly up to the summit of the air as fishes emerging from the sea to behold what is on the earth here and emerge hence, we should know that the true earth is there. The people there dwell with the gods, and see things as they really are; and what the sea is to us the air is to them, and what the air is to us the ether is to them." Again, in the tenth book of the Republic, eleventh chapter, the soul is metaphorically said in the sea of this corporeal life to get stones and shell fish attached to it, and, fed on earth, to be rendered to a great extent earthy, stony, and savage, like the marine Glaucus, some parts of whose body were broken off and others worn away by the waves, while such quantities of shells, sea weed, and stones had grown to him that he more resembled a beast than a man. In keeping with the whole tenor of the Platonic teaching, this is a fine illustration of the fallen state of man in his vile environment of flesh here below. The soul, in its earthly sojourn, embodied here, is as much mutilated and degraded from its equipped and pure condition in its lofty natal home, the archetypal world of Truth above the base Babel of material existence, as Glaucus was on

16 Phado, 40.

17 Gorgias, 173.

18 Menexenus, 19.

19 Timaus, 71.

descending from his human life on the sunny shore to his encrusted shape and blind prowling in the monstrous deep.

At another time Plato contrasts the situation of the soul on earth with its situation in heaven by the famous comparison of the dark cave. He supposes men, unable to look upwards, dwelling in a cavern which has an opening towards the light extending lengthwise through the top of the cavern. A great many images, carrying various objects and talking aloud, pass and repass along the edge of the opening. Their shadows fall on the side of the cave below, in front of the dwellers there; also the echoes of their talk sound back from the wall. Now, the men, never having been or looked out of the cave, would suppose these shadows to be the real beings, these echoes the real voices. As respects this figure, says Plato, we must compare ourselves with such persons. The visible region around us is the cave, the sun is the light, and the soul's ascent into the region of mind is the ascent out of the cave and the contemplation of things above.20

Still again, Plato describes the ethereal paths and motions of the gods, who, in their chariots, which are the planets and stars, ride through the universe, accompanied by all pure souls, "the family of true science, contemplating things as they really are." "Reaching the summit, they proceed outside, and, standing on the back of heaven, its revolution carries them round, and they behold that supercelestial region which no poet here can ever sing of as it deserves." In this archetypal world all souls of men have dwelt, though "few have memory enough left," "after their fall hither," "to call to mind former things from the present." "Now, of justice and temperance, and whatever else souls deem precious, there are here but faint resemblances, dull images; but beauty was then splendid to look on when we, in company with the gods, beheld that blissful spectacle, and were initiated into that most blessed of all mysteries, which we celebrated when we were unaffected by the evils that awaited us in time to come, and when we beheld, in the pure light, perfect and calm visions, being ourselves pure and as yet unmasked with this shell of a body to which we are now fettered."21

To suppose all this employed by Plato as mere fancy and metaphor is to commit an egregious error. In studying an ancient author, we must forsake the modern stand point of analysis, and envelop ourselves in the ancient atmosphere of thought, where poetry and science were as indistinguishably blended in the personal beliefs as oxygen and nitrogen are in the common air. We have not a doubt that Plato means to teach, literally, that the soul was always immortal, and that in its anterior states of existence, in the realm of ideas on high, it was in the midst of those essential realities whose shifting shadows alone it can behold in its lapsed condition and bodily imprisonment here. That he closely intertwisted ethical with physical theories, spiritual destinies with insphering localities, the fortunes of men with the revolutions of the earth and stars, is a fact which one can hardly read the Timaus and fail to see; a fact which continually reappears. It is strikingly shown in his idea of the consummation of all things at regular epochs determined by the recurrence of a grand

20 Republic, lib. vii. cap. 1 4.

21 Phadrus, 56-58, 63, 64.

revolution of the universe, a period vulgarly known under the name of the "Platonic Year."22 The second point, therefore, in the present explanation of Plato's doctrine of another life, is the conception that there is in the empyrean a glorious world of incorruptible truth, beauty, and goodness, the place of the gods, the native haunt of souls; and that human souls, having yielded to base attractions and sunk into bodies, are but banished sojourners in this phenomenal world of evanescent shadows and illusions, where they are "stung with resistless longings for the skies, and only solaced by the vague and broken reminiscences of their former state."

Thirdly, Plato taught that after death an unerring judgment and compensation await all souls. Every soul bears in itself the plain evidence of its quality and deeds, its vices and virtues; and in the unseen state it will meet inevitable awards on its merits. "To go to Hades with a soul full of crimes is the worst of all evils."23 "When a man dies, he possesses in the other world a destiny suited to the life which he has led in this."24 In the second book of the Republic he says, "We shall in Hades suffer the punishment of our misdeeds here;" and he argues at much length the absolute impossibility of in any way escaping this. The fact of a full reward for all wisdom and justice, a full retribution for all folly and vice, is asserted unequivocally in scores of passages, most of them expressly connecting the former with the notion of an ascent to the bright region of truth and intellect, the latter with a descent to the black penal realm of Hades. Let the citation of a single further example suffice. "Some souls, being sentenced, go to places of punishment beneath the earth; others are borne upward to some region in heaven."25 He proves the genuineness of his faith in this doctrine by continually urging it, in the most earnest, unaffected manner, as an animating motive in the formation of character and the conduct of life, saying, "He who neglects his soul will pass lamely through existence, and again pass into Hades, aimless and unserviceable."26

The fourth and last step in this exposition is to show the particular form in which Plato held his doctrine of future retribution, the way in which he supposed the consequences of present good and evil would appear hereafter. He received the Oriental theory of transmigration. Souls are born over and over. The banishment of the wicked to Tartarus is provisional, a preparation for their return to incarnate life. The residence of the good in heaven is contingent, and will be lost the moment they yield to carelessness or material solicitations. The circumstances under which they are reborn, the happiness or misery of their renewed existence, depend on their character and conduct in their previous career; and thus a poetic justice is secured. At the close of the Timaus, Plato describes the whole animal kingdom as consisting of degraded human souls, from "the tribe of birds, which were light minded souls, to the tribe of oysters, which have received the most remote habitations as a punishment of their extreme ignorance." "After this manner, then, both formerly and

22 Statesman, 14, 15.

23 Gorgias, 165.

24 Republic, lib. vi. cap. i.

25 Phadrus, 61.

26 Timaus, 18.

now, animals transmigrate, experiencing their changes through the loss or acquisition of intellect and folly." The general doctrine of metempsychosis is stated and implied very frequently in many of the Platonic dialogues. Some recent writers have tried to explain these representations as figures of speech, not intended to portray the literal facts, but merely to hint their moral equivalents. Such persons seem to us to hold Plato's pages in the full glare of the nineteenth century and read them in the philosophic spirit of Bacon and Comte, instead of holding them in the old shades of the Academy and pondering them in the marvelling spirit of Pythagoras and Empedocles.

We are led by the following considerations to think that Plato really meant to accredit the transmigration of souls literally. First, he often makes use of the current poetic imagery of Hades, and of ancient traditions, avowedly in a loose metaphorical way, as moral helps, calling them "fables." But the metempsychosis he sets forth, without any such qualification or guard, with so much earnestness and frequency, as a promise and a warning, that we are forced, in the absence of any indication to the contrary, to suppose that he meant the statements as sober fact and not as mythical drapery. As with a parable, of course we need not interpret all the ornamental details literally; but we must accept the central idea. And in the present case the fundamental thought is that of repeated births of the soul, each birth trailing retributive effects from the foregone. For example, the last four chapters of the tenth book of the Republic contain the account of Erus, a Pamphylian, who, after lying dead on the battle field ten days, revived, and told what he had seen in the other state. Plato in the outset explicitly names this recital an "apologue." It recounts a multitude of moral and physical particulars. These details may fairly enough be considered in some degreeas mythical drapery, or as the usual traditional painting; but the essential conception running through the account, for the sake of which it is told, we are not at liberty to explain away as empty metaphor. Now, that essential conception is precisely this: that souls after death are adjudged to Hades or to heaven as a recompense for their sin or virtue, and that, after an appropriate sojourn in those places, they are born again, the former ascending, squalid and scarred, from beneath the earth, the latter descending, pure, from the sky. In perfect consonance with this conclusion is the moral drawn by Plato from the whole narrative. He simply says, "If the company will be persuaded by me, considering the soul to be immortal and able to bear all evil and good, we shall always persevere in the road which leads upwards."

Secondly, the conception of the metempsychosis is thoroughly coherent with Plato's whole philosophy. If he was in earnest about any doctrine, it was the doctrine that all knowledge is reminiscence. The following declarations are his. "Soul is older than body." "Souls are continually born over again from Hades into this life." "To search and learn is simply to revive the images of what the soul saw in its pre existent state of being in the world of realities."27 Why should we hesitate to attribute a sincere belief in the metempsychosis to the acknowledged author of the doctrine that the soul lived in another world before appearing here, and that its knowledge is but reminiscence? If born from the other world

27 Menexenus, 15.

once, we may be many times; and then all that is wanted to complete the dogma of transmigration is the idea of a presiding justice. Had not Plato that idea?

Thirdly, the doctrine of a judicial metempsychosis was most profoundly rooted in the popular faith, as a strict verity, throughout the great East, ages before the time of Plato, and was familiarly known throughout Greece in his time. It had been imported thither by Musaus and Orpheus at an early period, was afterwards widely recommended and established by the Pythagoreans, and was unquestionably held by many of Plato's contemporaries. He refers once to those "who strongly believe that murderers who have gone to Hades will be obliged to come back and end their next lives by suffering the same fate which they had before inflicted on others."28 It is also a remarkable fact that he states the conditions of transmigration, and the means of securing exemption from it, in the same way that the Hindus have from immemorial time: "The soul which has beheld the essence of truth remains free from harm until the next revolution; and if it can preserve the vision of the truth it shall always remain free from harm," that is, be exempt from birth; but "when it fails to behold the field of truth it falls to the earth and is implanted in a body."29 This statement and several others in the context corresponds precisely with Hindu theology, which proclaims that the soul, upon attaining real wisdom, that is, upon penetrating beneath illusions and gazing on reality, is freed from the painful necessity of repeated births. Now, since the Hindus and the Pythagoreans held the doctrine as a severe truth, and Plato states it in the identical forms which they employed, and never implies that he is merely poetizing, we naturally conclude that he, too, veritably inculcates it as fact.

Finally, we are the more confirmed in this supposition when we find that his lineal disciples and most competent expounders, such as Proclus, and nearly all his later commentators, such as Ritter, have so understood him. The great chorus of his interpreters, from Plotinus to Leroux, with scarcely a dissentient voice, approve the opinion pronounced by the learned German historian of philosophy, that "the conception of the metempsychosis is so closely interwoven both with his physical system and with his ethical as to justify the conviction that Plato looked upon it as legitimate and valid, and not as a merely figurative exposition of the soul's life after death." To sum up the whole in one sentence: Plato taught with grave earnestness the immortality of the soul, subject to a discriminating retribution, which opened for its temporary residences three local regions, heaven, earth, and Hades, and which sometimes led it through different grades of embodied being. "O thou youth who thinkest that thou art neglected by the gods, the person who has become more wicked departs to the more wicked souls; but he who has become better departs to the better souls, both in life and in all deaths."30

Whether Aristotle taught or denied the immortality of the soul has been the subject of innumerable debates from his own time until now. It is certainly a most ominous fact that his great name has been cited as authority for rejecting the doctrine of a future life by so many

28 The Laws, b. ix. ch. 10.

29 Phadrus, 60-62.

30 The Laws, lib. x. cap. 13.

of his keenest followers; for this has been true of weighty representatives of every generation of his disciples. Antagonistic advocates have collected from his works a large number of varying statements, endeavoring to distinguish between the literal and the figurative, the esoteric and the popular. It is not worth our while here, either for their intrinsic interest or for their historic importance, to quote the passages and examine the arguments. All that is required for our purpose may be expressed in the language of Ritter, who has carefully investigated the whole subject: "No passage in his extant works is decisive; but, from the general context of his doctrine, it is clear that he had no conception of the immortality of any individual rational entity."31

It would take a whole volume instead of a chapter to set forth the multifarious contrasting tenets of individual Greek philosophers, from the age of Pherecydes to that of Iamblichus, in relation to a future life. Not a few held, with Empedocles, that human life is a penal state, the doom of such immortal souls as for guilt have been disgraced and expelled from heaven. "Man is a fallen god condemned to wander on the earth, sky aspiring but sense clouded." Purged by a sufficient penance, he returns to his former godlike existence. "When, leaving this body, thou comest to the free ether, thou shalt be no longer a mortal, but an undying god." Notions of this sort fairly represent no small proportion of the speculations upon the fate of the soul which often reappear throughout the course of Greek literature. Another class of philosophers are represented by such names as Marcus Antoninus, who, comparing death to disembarkation at the close of a voyage, says, "If you land upon another life, it will not be empty of gods: if you land in nonentity, you will have done with pleasures, pains, and drudgery."32 And again he writes, "If souls survive, how has ethereal space made room for them all from eternity? How has the earth found room for all the bodies buried in it? The solution of the latter problem will solve the former. The corpse turns to dust and makes space for another: so the spirit, let loose into the air, after a while dissolves, and is either renewed into another soul or absorbed into the universe. Thus room is made for succession."33 These passages, it will be observed, leave the survival of the soul at all entirely hypothetical, and, even supposing it to survive, allow it but a temporary duration. Such was the common view of the great sect of the Stoics. They all agreed that there was no real immortality for the soul; but they differed greatly as to the time of its dissolution. In the words of Cicero, "Diu mansuros aiunt animos; semper, negant:" they say souls endure for a long time, but not forever. Cleanthes taught that the intensity of existence after death would depend on the strength or weakness of the particular soul. Chrysippus held that only the souls of the wise and good would survive at all.34 Panatius said the soul always died with the body, because it was born with it, which he proved by the resemblances of children's souls to those of their parents.35 Seneca has a great many contradictory passages on this subject

31 Hist. Anc. Phil. p. iii. b. ix. ch. 4.

32 Meditations, lib. iii. cap. 3.

33 Ibid. lib. iv. cap. 21.

34 Plutarch, Plac. Phil. iv. 7.

35 Tusc. Quast. lib. i. cap. 32.

in his works; but his preponderant authority, upon the whole, is that the soul and the body perish together.36 At one time he says, "The day thou fearest as the last is the birthday of eternity." "As an infant in the womb is preparing to dwell in this world, so ought we to consider our present life as a preparation for the life to come."37 At another time he says, with stunning bluntness, "There is nothing after death, and death itself is nothing."

Post mortem nihil est, ipsaque mors nihil. 38

Besides the mystics, like Plotinus, who affirmed the strict eternity of the soul, and the Stoics, like Poseidonius, who believed that the soul, having had a beginning, must have an end, although it might endure for a long period after leaving the body, there were among the Greeks and Romans two other classes of believers in a future life, namely, the ignorant body of the people, who credited, more or less fully, the common fables concerning Hades; and an educated body of select minds, who, while casting off the popular superstitions, yet clung tenaciously to the great fact of immortality in some form or other, without attempting to define the precise mode of it.

There was among the illiterate populace, both Greek and Roman, even from the age of Eumolpus to that of Augustus, a good deal of firm faith in a future life, according to the gross scheme and particulars preserved to us still in the classic mythology. A thousand current allusions and statements in the general literature of those times prove the actual existence of a common and literal belief in Hades with all its accompaniments. This was far from being, in the average apprehension, a mere myth. Plato says, "Many, of their own accord, have wished to descend into Hades, induced by the hope of there seeing and being with those they have loved."39 He also says, "When a man is about to die, the stories of future punishment which he had formerly ridiculed trouble him with fears of their truth."40 And that frightful accounts of hell really swayed and terrified the people, even so late as the time of the Roman republic, appears from the earnest and elaborate arguments employed by various writers to refute them.

The same thing is shown by the religious ritual enacted at funerals and festivals, the forms of public and private worship observed till after the conversion of Constantine. The cake of rice and honey borne in the dead hand for Cerberus, the periodical offerings to the ghosts of the departed, as at the festivals called Feralia and Parentalia,41 the pictures of the scenery of the under world, hung in the temples, of which there was a famous one by Polygnotus,42 all imply a literal crediting of the vulgar doctrine. Altars were set up on the spots where Tiberius and Caius Gracchus were murdered, and services were there performed in honor of their manes. Festus, an old Roman lexicographer who lived in the second or third century, tells us there was in the Comitium a stone covered pit which was supposed to be the

36 Christoph Meiners, Vermischte Philosophische Schriften. Commentarius quo Stoicorum Sententia; de Animorum post mortem Statu satis illustrantur.

37 Epist. 102.

38 Troades, 1. 397.

39 Phado, 34.

40 Republic, lib. i. cap. 5.

41 Ovid, Fasti, lib. ii. II. 530-580.

42 Pausanias, lib. x. cap. 28.

mouth of Orcus, and was opened three days in the year for souls to rise out into the upper world.43 Apuleius describes, in his treatise on "the god of Socrates," the Roman conceptions of the departed spirits of men. They called all disembodied human souls "lemures." Those of good men were "lares," those of bad men "larva." And when it was uncertain whether the specified soul was a lar or a larva, it was named "manes." The lares were mild household gods to their posterity. The larva were wandering, frightful shapes, harmless to the pious, but destructive to the reprobate.44

The belief in necromancy is well known to have prevailed extensively among the Greeks and Romans. Aristophanes represents the coward, Pisander, going to a necromancer and asking to "see his own soul, which had long departed, leaving him a man with breath alone."45 In Latin literature no popular terror is more frequently alluded to or exemplified than the dread of seeing ghosts. Every one will recall the story of the phantom that appeared in the tent of Brutus before the battle of Philippi. It pervades the "Haunted House" of Plautus. Callimachus wrote the following couplet as an epitaph on the celebrated misanthrope:

"Timon, hat'st thou the world or Hades worse? Speak clear! Hades,
O fool, because there are more of us here!" 46

Pythagoras is said once to have explained an earthquake as being caused by a synod of ghosts assembled under ground! It is one of the best of the numerous jokes attributed to the great Samian; a good nut for the spirit rappers to crack. There is an epigram by Diogenes Laertius, on one Lycon, who died of the gout:

"He who before could not so much as walk alone, The whole long road to Hades travell'd in one night!"

Philostratus declares that the shade of Apollonius appeared to a skeptical disciple of his and said, "The soul is immortal."47 It is unquestionable that the superstitious fables about the under world and ghosts had a powerful hold, for a very long period, upon the Greek and Roman imagination, and were widely accepted as facts.

At the same time, there were many persons of more advanced culture to whom such coarse and fanciful representations had become incredible, but who still held loyally to the simple idea of the survival of the soul. They cherished a strong expectation of another life, although they rejected the revolting form and drapery in which the doctrine was usually set forth. Xenophon puts the following speech into the mouth of the expiring Cyrus: "I was never able, my children, to persuade myself that the soul, as long as it was in a mortal body, lived, but when it was removed from this, that it died; neither could I believe that the soul ceased to think when separated from the unthinking and senseless body; but it seemed to me most probable that when pure and free from any union with the body, then it became most

43 De Significatione Verborum, verbum "Manalis."

44 Lessing, Wie die Alten den Tod gebildet.

45 Ayes, I. 1485.

46 Epigram IV.

47 Vita Apollonii, lib. viii. cap. 31.

wise."48 Every one has read of the young man whose faith and curiosity were so excited by Plato's writings that he committed suicide to test the fact of futurity. Callimachus tells the story neatly:

"Cleombrotus, the Ambracian, having said, 'Farewell, O sun!' leap'd from a lofty wall into the world Of ghosts. No deadly ill had chanced to him at all; But he had read in Plato's book upon the soul." 49

The falling of Cato on his sword at Utica, after carefully perusing the Phado, is equally familiar.

In the case of Cicero, too, notwithstanding his fluctuations of feeling and the obvious contradictions of sentiment in some of his letters and his more deliberate essays, it is, upon the whole, plain enough that, while he always regarded the vulgar notions as puerile falsehoods, the hope of a glorious life to come was powerful in him. This may be stated as the result of a patient investigation and balancing of all that he says on the subject, and of the circumstances under which he says it. To cite and criticize the passages here would occupy too much space to too little profit.

At the siege of Jerusalem, Titus made a speech to his soldiers, in the course of it saying to them, "Those souls which are severed from their fleshly bodies by the sword in battle, are received by the pure ether and joined to that company which are placed among the stars."50 The beautiful story of Cupid and Psyche, that loveliest of all the myths concerning the immortality of the soul, was a creation by no means foreign to the prevalent ideas and feelings of the time when it was written. The "Dissertations" of Maximus Tyrius abound with sentences like the following. "This very thing which the multitude call death is the birth of a new life, and the beginning of immortality."51 "When Pherecydes lay sick, conscious of spiritual energy, he cared not for bodily disease, his soul standing erect and looking for release from its cumbersome vestment. So a man in chains, seeing the walls of his prison crumbling, waits for deliverance, that from the darkness in which he has been buried he may soar to the ethereal regions and be filled with glorious light."52

The conception of man as a member of the cosmic family of gods and genii was known to all the classic philosophers, and was cherished by the larger portion of them. Pindar affirms one origin for gods and men. Plato makes wise souls accompany the gods in their excursions about the sky. Cicero argues that heaven, and not Hades, is the destination of the soul at death, because the soul, being lighter than the earthly elements surrounding it here, would rise aloft through the natural force of gravitation.53 Plutarch says, "Demons are the spies and scouts of the gods, wandering and circuiting around on their commands." Disembodied souls

48 Cyropadia, lib. viii. cap. 7.

49 Epigram XXIV.

50 Josephus, De Bell. lib. vi. cap. 1.

51 Diss. XXV.

52 Diss. XLI.

53 Tusc. Quest. lib i. cap. 17.

and demons were the same. The prevalence of such ideas as these produced in the Greek and Roman imagination a profound sense of invisible beings, a sense which was further intensified by the popular personifications of all natural forces, as in fountains and trees, full of lapsing naiads and rustling dryads. An illustrative fact is furnished by an effect of the tradition that Thetis, snatching the body of Achilles from the funeral pile, conveyed him to Leuke, an island in the Black Sea. The mariners sailing by often fancied they saw his mighty shade flitting along the shore in the dusk of evening.54 But a passage in Hesiod yields a more adequate illustration: "When the mortal remains of those who flourished during the golden age were hidden beneath the earth, their souls became beneficent demons, still hovering over the world they once inhabited, and still watching, clothed in thin air and gliding rapidly through every region of the earth, as guardians over the affairs of men."55

But there were always some who denied the common doctrine of a future life and scoffed at its physical features. Through the absurd extravagances of poets and augurs, and through the growth of critical thought, this unbelief went on increasing from the days of Anaxagoras, when it was death to call the sun a ball of fire, to the days of Catiline, when Julius Casar could be chosen Pontifex Maximus, almost before the Senate had ceased to reverberate his voice openly asserting that death was the utter end of man. Plutarch dilates upon the wide skepticism of the Greeks as to the infernal world, at the close of his essay on the maxim, "Live concealed." The portentous growth of irreverent unbelief, the immense change of feeling from awe to ribaldry, is made obvious by a glance from the known gravity of Hesiod's "Descent of Theseus and Pirithous into Hades," to Lucian's "Kataplous," which represents the cobbler Mycillus leaping from the banks of the Styx, swimming after Charon's boat, climbing into it upon the shoulders of the tyrant Megapenthes and tormenting him the whole way. Pliny, in his Natural History, affirms that death is an everlasting sleep.56 The whole great sect of the Epicureans united in supporting that belief by the combined force of ridicule and argument. Their views are the most fully and ably defended by the consummate Lucretius, in his masterly poem on the "Nature of Things." Horace,57 Juvenal,58 Persius,59 concur in scouting at the tales which once, when recited on the stage, had made vast audiences perceptibly tremble.60 And Cicero asks, "What old woman is so insane as to fear these things?"61

There were two classes of persons who sought differently to free mankind from the terrors which had invested the whole prospect of death and another world. The first were the materialists, who endeavored to prove that death was to man the absolute end of every thing. Secondly, there were the later Platonists, who maintained that this world is the only Hades, that heaven is our home, that all death is ascent to better life. "To remain on high with the gods is life; to descend into this world is death, a descent into Orcus," they said. The following couplet, of an unknown date, is translated from the Greek Anthology:

"Diogenes, whose tub stood by the road, Now, being dead, has the stars for his abode."

54 Muller, Greek Literature, ch. vi.

55 Works and Days, lib. i. II. 120-125.

56 Lib. ii. cap. 7.

57 Lib. i. epist. 16.

58 Sat. II.

59 Sat. II.

60 Tusc. Quest. lib. i. cap. 16.

61 Ibid. cap. 21.

Macrobius writes, in his commentary on the "Dream of Scipio," "Here, on earth, is the cavern of Dis, the infernal region. The river of oblivion is the wandering of the mind forgetting the majesty of its former life and thinking a residence in the body the only life. Phlegethon is the fires of wrath and desire. Acheron is retributive sadness. Cocytus is wailing tears. Styx is the whirlpool of hatreds. The vulture eternally tearing the liver is the torment of an evil conscience."62

To the ancient Greek in general, death was a sad doom. When he lost a friend, he sighed a melancholy farewell after him to the faded shore of ghosts. Summoned himself, he departed with a lingering look at the sun, and a tearful adieu to the bright day and the green earth. To the Roman, death was a grim reality. To meet it himself he girded up his loins with artificial firmness. But at its ravages among his friends he wailed in anguished abandonment. To his dying vision there was indeed a future; but shapes of distrust and shadow stood upon its disconsolate borders; and, when the prospect had no horror, he still shrank from its poppied gloom.

62 Lib. i. cap. 9, 10.

Brahmanic and Buddhist Doctrine of A Future Life

IN the Hindu views of the fate of the human soul, metaphysical subtlety and imaginative vastness, intellect and fancy, slavish tradition and audacious speculation, besotted ritualism and heaven storming spirituality, are mingled together on a scale of grandeur and intensity wholly without a parallel elsewhere in the literature or faith of the world. Brahmanism, with its hundred million adherents holding sway over India, and Buddhism, with its four hundred million disciples scattered over a dozen nations, from Java to Japan, and from the Ceylonese to the Samoyedes, practically considered, in reference to their actually received dogmas and aims pertaining to a future life, agree sufficiently to warrant us in giving them a general examination together. The chief difference between them will be explained in the sequel.

The most ancient Hindu doctrine of the future fate of man, as given in the Vedas, was simple, rude, and very unlike the forms in which it has since prevailed. Professor Wilson says, in the introduction to his translation of the Rig Veda, that the references to this subject in the primeval Sanscrit scriptures are sparse and incomplete. But no one has so thoroughly elucidated this obscure question as Roth of Tubingen, in his masterly paper on the Morality of the Vedas, of which there is a translation, by Professor Whitney, in the Journal of the American Oriental Society.1 The results of his researches may be stated in few words.

When a man dies, the earth is invoked to wrap his body up, as a mother wraps her child in her garment, and to lie lightly on him. He himself is addressed thus: "Go forth, go forth on the ancient paths which our fathers in old times have trodden: the two rulers in bliss, Yama and Varuna, shalt thou behold." Varuna judges all. He thrusts the wicked down into darkness; and not a hint or clew further of their doom is furnished. They were supposed either to be annihilated, as Professor Roth thinks the Vedas imply, or else to live as demons, in sin, blackness, and woe. The good go up to heaven and are glorified with a shining spiritual body like that of the gods. Yama, the first man, originator of the human race on earth, is the beginner and head of renewed humanity in another world, and is termed the Assembler of Men. It is a poetic and grand conception that the first one who died, leading the way, should be the patriarch and monarch of all who follow. The old Vedic hymns imply that the departed good are in a state of exalted felicity, but scarcely picture forth any particulars. The following passage, versified with strict fidelity to the original, is as full and explicit as any:

Where glory never fading is, where is the world of heavenly light,
The world of immortality, the everlasting, set me there!
Where Yama reigns, Vivasvat's son, in the inmost sphere of heaven
bright.
Where those abounding waters flow, oh, make me but immortal there!
Where there is freedom unrestrain'd, where the triple vault of
heaven's in sight,
Where worlds of brightest glory are, oh, make me but immortal
there!
Where pleasures and enjoyments are, where bliss and raptures ne'er
take flight,
Where all desires are satisfied, oh, make me but immortal there!

1 Vol iii. pp. 342-346.

But this form of doctrine long ago passed from the Hindu remembrance, lost in the multiplying developments and specifications of a mystical philosophy, and a teeming superstition nourished by an unbounded imagination.

Both Brahmans and Buddhists conceive of the creation on the most enormous scale. Mount Meru rises from the centre of the earth to the height of about two millions of miles. On its summit is the city of Brahma, covering a space of fourteen thousand leagues, and surrounded by the stately cities of the regents of the spheres. Between Meru and the wall of stone forming the extreme circumference of the earth are seven concentric circles of rocks. Between these rocky bracelets are continents and seas. In some of the seas wallow single fishes thousands of miles in every dimension. The celestial spaces are occupied by a large number of heavens, called "dewa lokas," increasing in the glory and bliss of their prerogatives. The worlds below the earth are hells, called "naraka." The description of twenty eight of these, given in the Vishnu Purana,2 makes the reader "sup full of horrors." The Buddhist "Books of Ceylon" 3 tell of twenty six heavens placed in regular order above one another in the sky, crowded with all imaginable delights. They also depict, in the abyss underneath the earth, eight great hells, each containing sixteen smaller ones, the whole one hundred and thirty six composing one gigantic hell. The eight chief hells are situated over one another, each partially enclosing and overlapping that next beneath; and the sufferings inflicted on their unfortunate occupants are of the most terrific character. But these poor hints at the local apparatus of reward and punishment afford no conception whatever of the extent of their mythological scheme of the universe.

They call each complete solar system a sakwala, and say that, if a wall were erected around the space occupied by a million millions of sakwalas, reaching to the highest heaven, and the entire space were filled with mustard seeds, a god might take these seeds, and, looking towards any one of the cardinal points, throw a single seed towards each sakwala until all the seeds were gone, and still there would be more sakwalas, in the same direction, to which no seed had been thrown, without considering those in the other three quarters of the heavens. In comparison with this Eastern vision of the infinitude of worlds, the wildest Western dreamer over the vistas opened by the telescope may hide his diminished head! Their other conceptions are of the same crushing magnitude, Thus, when the demons, on a certain occasion, assailed the gods, Siva using the Himalaya range for his bow, Vasuke for the string, Vishnu for his arrow, the earth for his chariot with the sun and moon for its wheels and the Vedas for its horses, the starry canopy for his banner with the tree of Paradise for its staff, Brahma for his charioteer, and the mysterious monosyllable Om for his whip reduced them all to ashes.4

The five hundred million Brahmanic and Buddhist believers hold that all the gods, men, demons, and various grades of animal life occupying this immeasurable array of worlds compose one cosmic family. The totality of animated beings, from a detestable gnat to

2 Wilson's trans. pp. 207-209.

3 Upham's trans. vol. iii. pp. 8, 66, 159.

4 Vans Kennedy, Ancient and Hindu Mythology, p. 429.

thundering Indra, from the meanest worm to the supreme Buddha, constitute one fraternal race, by the unavoidable effects of the law of retribution constantly interchanging their residences in a succession of rising and sinking existences, ranging through all the earths, heavens, and hells of the universe, bound by the terrible links of merit and demerit in the phantasmagoric dungeon of births and deaths. The Vishnu Purana declares, "The universe, this whole egg of Brahma, is everywhere swarming with living creatures, all of whom are captives in the chains of acts." 5

The one prime postulate of these Oriental faiths the ground principle, never to be questioned any more than the central and stationary position of the earth in the Ptolemaic system is that all beings below the Infinite One are confined in the circle of existence, the whirl of births and deaths, by the consequences of their virtues and vices. When a man dies, if he has an excess of good desert, he is born, as a superior being, in one of the heavens. According to the nature and degree of his merit, his heavenly existence is prolonged, or perhaps repeated many times in succession; or, if his next birth occurs on earth, it is under happy circumstances, as a sage or a king. But when he expires, should there, on the other hand, be an overbalance of ill desert, he is born as a demon in one of the hells, or may in repeated lives run the circuit of the hells; or, if he at once returns to the earth, it is as a beggar, a leprous outcast, a wretched cripple, or in the guise of a rat, a snake, or a louse.

"The illustrious souls of great and virtuous men
In godlike beings shall revive again;
But base and vicious spirits wind their way
In scorpions, vultures, sharks, and beasts of prey.
The fair, the gay, the witty, and the brave,
The fool, the coward, courtier, tyrant, slave,
Each one in a congenial form, shall find
A proper dwelling for his wandering mind."

A specific evil is never cancelled by being counterbalanced by a greater good. The fruit of that evil must be experienced, and also of that greater good, by appropriate births in the hells and heavens, or in the higher and lower grades of earthly existence. The two courses of action must be run through independently. This is what is meant by the phrases, so often met with in Oriental works, "eating the fruits of former acts," "bound in the chains of deeds." Merit or demerit can be balanced or neutralized only by the full fruition of its own natural and necessary consequences.6 The law of merit and of demerit is fate. It works irresistibly, through all changes and recurrences, from the beginning to the end. The cessation of virtue or of vice does not put an end to its effects until its full force is exhausted; as an arrow continues in flight until all its imparted power is spent. A man faultlessly and scrupulously good through his present life may be guilty of some foul crime committed a hundred lives before and not yet expiated. Accordingly, he may now suffer for it, or his next birth may take place in a hell. On the contrary, he may be credited with some great merit acquired thousands of

5 P. 286

6 Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. iv. p. 87.

generations ago, whose fruit he has not eaten, and which may bring him good fortune in spite of present sins, or on the rolling and many colored wheel of metempsychosis may secure for him next a celestial birthplace. In short periods, it will be seen, there is moral confusion, but, in the long run, exact compensation.

The exuberant prodigiousness of the Hindu imagination is strikingly manifest in its descriptions of the rewards of virtue in the heavens and of the punishments of sin in the hells. Visions pass before us of beautiful groves full of fragrance and music, abounding in delicious fruits, and birds of gorgeous plumage, crystal streams embedded with pearls, unruffled lakes where the lotus blooms, palaces of gems, crowds of friends and lovers, endless revelations of truth, boundless graspings of power, all that can stir and enchant intellect, will, fancy, and heart. In some of the heavens the residents have no bodily form, but enjoy purely spiritual pleasures. In others they are self resplendent, and traverse the ether. They are many miles in height, one being described whose crown was four miles high and who wore on his person sixty wagon loads of jewels. The ordinary lifetime of the inhabitants of the dewa loka named Wasawartti equals nine billions two hundred and sixteen millions of our years. They breathe only once in sixteen hours.

The reverse of this picture is still more vigorously drawn, highly colored, and diversified in contents. The walls of the Hindu hell are over a hundred miles thick; and so dazzling is their brightness that it bursts the eyes which look at them anywhere within a distance of four hundred leagues.7 The poor creatures here, wrapped in shrouds of fire, writhe and yell in frenzy of pain. The very revelry and ecstasy of terror and anguish fill the whole region. The skins of some wretches are taken off from head to foot, and then scalding vinegar is poured over them. A glutton is punished thus: experiencing an insatiable hunger in a body as large as three mountains, he is tantalized with a mouth no larger than the eye of a needle.8 The infernal tormentors, throwing their victims down, take a flexible flame in each hand, and with these lash them alternately right and left. One demon, Rahu, is seventy six thousand eight hundred miles tall: the palm of his hand measures fifty thousand acres; and when he is enraged he rushes up the sky and swallows the sun or the moon, thus causing an eclipse! In the Asiatic Journal for 1840 is an article on "The Chinese Judges of the Dead," which describes a series of twenty four paintings of hell found in a Buddhist temple. Devils in human shapes are depicted pulling out the tongues of slanderers with redhot wires, pouring molten lead down the throats of liars, with burning prongs tossing souls upon mountains planted with hooks of iron reeking with the blood of those who have gone before, screwing the damned between planks, pounding them in husking mortars, grinding them in rice mills, while other fiends, in the shape of dogs, lap up their oozing gore. But the hardest sensibility must by this time cry, Hold!

With the turmoil and pain of entanglement in the vortex of births, and all the repulsive exposures of finite life, the Hindus contrast the idea of an infinite rest and bliss, an endless

7 Hardy, Manual of Buddhism, p. 26.

8 Coleman, Mythology of the Hindus, p. 198.

exemption from evil and struggle, an immense receptivity of reposing power and quietistic contemplation. In consequence of their endlessly varied, constantly recurring, intensely earnest speculations and musings over this contrast of finite restlessness and pain with infinite peace and blessedness, a contrast which constitutes the preaching of their priests, saturates their sacred books, fills their thoughts, and broods over all their life, the Orientals are pervaded with a profound horror of individual existence, and with a profound desire for absorption into the Infinite Being. A few quotations from their own authors will illustrate this:

"A sentient being in the repetition of birth and death is like a worm in the midst of a nest of ants, like a lizard in the hollow of a bamboo that is burning at both ends."9 "Emancipation from all existence is the fulness of felicity."10 "The being who is still subject to birth may now sport in the beautiful gardens of heaven, now be cut to pieces in hell; now be Maha Brahma, now a degraded outcast; now sip nectar, now drink blood; now repose on a couch with gods, now be dragged through a thicket of thorns; now reside in a mansion of gold, now be exposed on a mountain of lava; now sit on the throne of the gods, now be impaled amidst hungry dogs; now be a king glittering with countless gems, now a mendicant taking a skull from door to door to beg alms; now eat ambrosia as the monarch of a dewa loka, now writhe and die as a bat in the shrivelling flame."11 "The Supreme Soul and the human soul do not differ, and pleasure or pain ascribable to the latter arises from its imprisonment in the body. The water of the Ganges is the same whether it run in the river's bed or be shut up in a decanter; but a drop of wine added to the water in the decanter imparts its flavor to the whole, whereas it would be lost in the river. The Supreme Soul, therefore, is beyond accident; but the human soul is afflicted by sense and passion. Happiness is only obtained in reunion with the Supreme Soul, when the dispersed individualities combine again with it, as the drops of water with the parent stream. Hence the slave should remember that he is separated from God by the body alone, and exclaim, perpetually, 'Blessed be the moment when I shall lift the veil from off that face! the veil of the face of my Beloved is the dust of my body.'"12 "A pious man was once born on earth, who, in his various transmigrations, had met eight hundred and twenty five thousand Buddhas. He remembered his former states, but could not enumerate how many times he had been a king, a beggar, a beast, an occupant of hell. He uttered these words: 'A hundred thousand years of the highest happiness on earth are not equal to the happiness of one day in the dewa lokas; and a hundred thousand years of the deepest misery on earth are not equal to the misery of one day in hell; but the misery of hell is reckoned by millions of centuries. Oh, how shall I escape, and obtain eternal bliss?'" 13

9 Eastern Monachism, p. 247.

10 Vishnu Purana, p. 568.

11 Hardy, Manual of Buddhism, p. 454.

12 Asiatic Researches, vol. xvii. p. 298.

13 Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. iv. p. 114.

The literary products of the Eastern mind wonderfully abound with painful descriptions of the compromises, uncleannesses, and afflictions inseparably connected with existence. Volumes would be required to furnish an adequate representation of the vivid and inexhaustible amplification with which they set forth the direful disgusts and loathsome terrors associated with the series of ideas expressed by the words conception, birth, life, death, hell, and regeneration. The fifth chapter in the sixth book of the Vishnu Purana affords a good specimen of these details; but, to appreciate them fully, one must peruse dispersed passages in a hundred miscellaneous works:

"As long as man lives, he is immersed in afflictions, like the seed of the cotton amidst the down. . . . Where could man, scorched by the fires of the sun of this world, look for felicity, were it not for the shade afforded by the tree of emancipation? . . . Travelling the path of the world for many thousands of births, man attains only the weariness of bewilderment, and is smothered by the dust of imagination. When that dust is washed away by the bland water of real knowledge, then the weariness is removed. Then the internal man is at peace, and obtains supreme felicity."14

The result of these views is the awakening of an unquenchable desire to "break from the fetters of existence," to be "delivered from the whirlpool of transmigration." Both Brahmanism and Buddhism are in essence nothing else than methods of securing release from the chain of incarnated lives, and attaining to identification with the Infinite. There is a text in the Apocalypse which may be strikingly applied to this exemption from further metempsychosis: "Him that overcometh I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out forever." The testimony of all who have investigated the subject agrees with the following assertion by Professor Wilson: "The common end of every system studied by the Hindus is the ascertainment of the means by which perpetual exemption from the necessity of repeated births may be won."15 In comparison with this aim, every thing else is utterly insignificant. Prahlada, on being offered by Vishnu any boon he might ask, exclaimed, "Wealth, virtue, love, are as nothing; for even liberation is in his reach whose faith is firm in thee." And Vishnu replied, "Thou shalt, therefore, obtain freedom from existence."16 All true Orientals, however favored or persecuted by earthly fortune, still cry night and day upwards into the infinite, with outstretched arms and yearning voice,

"O Lord, our separate lives destroy! Merge in thy gold our souls' alloy: Pain is our own, and Thou art Joy!"

According to the system of Brahmanism, the creation is regularly called into being and again destroyed at the beginning and end of certain stupendous epochs called kalpas. Four thousand three hundred and twenty million years make a day of Brahma. At the end of this day the lower worlds are consumed by fire; and Brahma sleeps on the abyss for a night as long

14 Vishnu Parana, p. 650.

15 Sankhya Karika, preface, p. 3.

16 Vishnu Purana, p. 144.

as his day. During this night the saints, who in high Jana loka have survived the dissolution of the lower portions of the universe, contemplate the slumbering deity until he wakes and restores the mutilated creation. Three hundred and sixty of these days and nights compose a year of Brahma; a hundred such years measure his whole life. Then a complete destruction of all things takes place, every thing merging into the Absolute One, until he shall rouse himself renewedly to manifest his energies.17 Although created beings who have not obtained emancipation are destroyed in their individual forms at the periods of the general dissolution, yet, being affected by the good or evil acts of former existence, they are never exempted from their consequences, and when Brahma creates the world anew they are the progeny of his will, in the fourfold condition of gods, men, animals, and inanimate things.18 And Buddhism embodies virtually the same doctrine, declaring "the whole universe of sakwalas to be subject alternately to destruction and renovation, in a series of revolutions to which neither beginning nor end can be discovered."

What is the Brahmanic method of salvation, or secret of emancipation? Rightly apprehended in the depth and purity of the real doctrine, it is this. There is in reality but ONE SOUL: every thing else is error, illusion, misery. Whoever acquires the knowledge of this truth by personal perception is thereby liberated. He has won the absolute perfection of the unlimited Godhead, and shall never be born again. "Whosoever views the Supreme Soul as manifold, dies death after death." God is formless, but seems to assume form; as moonlight, impinging upon various objects, appears crooked or straight.19 Bharata says to the king of Sauriva, "The great end of all is not union of self with the Supreme Soul, because one substance cannot become another. The true wisdom, the genuine aim of all, is to know that Soul is one, uniform, perfect, exempt from birth, omnipresent, undecaying, made of true knowledge, dissociated with unrealities."20 "It is ignorance alone which enables Maya to impress the mind with a sense of individuality; for as soon as that is dispelled it is known that severalty exists not, and that there is nothing but one undivided Whole." 21 The Brahmanic scriptures say, "The Eternal Deity consists of true knowledge." "Brahma that is Supreme is produced of reflection."22 The logic runs thus. There is only One Soul, the absolute God. All beside is empty deception. That One Soul consists of true knowledge. Whoever attains to true knowledge, therefore, is absolute God, forever freed from the sphere of semblances.

The foregoing exposition is philosophical and scriptural Brahmanism. But there are numerous schismatic sects which hold opinions diverging from it in regard to the nature and destiny of the human soul. They may be considered in two classes. First, there are some who defend the idea of the personal immortality of the soul. The Siva Gnana Potham "establishes the doctrine of the soul's eternal existence as an individual being." 23 The Saiva school

17 Vishnu Purana, p. 25. Hardy, Manual of Buddhism, p. 33, note.

18 Vishnu Parana, pp. 39, 116.

19 Colebrooke, Essays, vol. i. p. 359.

20 Vishnu Purana, p. 252.

21 Vans Kennedy, Ancient and Hindu Mythology, p. 201.

22 Vishnu Purana, pp. 546, 642.

23 Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. ii. p. 141.

teach that when, at the close of every great period, all other developed existences are rendered back to their primordial state, souls are excepted. These, once developed and delivered from the thraldom of their merit and demerit, will ever remain intimately united with Deity and clothed in the resplendent wisdom.24 Secondly, there are others and probably at the present time they include a large majority of the Brahmans who believe in the real being both of the Supreme Soul and of separate finite souls, conceiving the latter to be individualized parts of the former and their true destiny to consist in securing absorption into it. The relation of the soul to God, they maintain, is not that of ruled and ruler, but that of part and whole. "As gold is one substance still, however diversified as bracelets, tiaras, ear rings, or other things, so Vishnu is one and the same, although modified in the forms of gods, animals, and men. As the drops of water raised from the earth by the wind sink into the earth again when the wind subsides, so the variety of gods, men, and animals, which have been detached by the agitation of the qualities, are reunited, when the disturbance ceases, with the Eternal." 25 "The whole obtains its destruction in God, like bubbles in water." The Madhava sect believe that there is a personal All Soul distinct from the human soul. Their proofs are detailed in one of the Maha Upanishads.26 These two groups of sects, however, agree perfectly with the ancient orthodox Brahmans in accepting the fundamental dogma of a judicial metempsychosis, wherein each one is fastened by his acts and compelled to experience the uttermost consequences of his merit or demerit. They all coincide in one common aspiration as regards the highest end, namely, emancipation from the necessity of repeated births. The difference between the three is, that the one class of dissenters expect the fruition of that deliverance to be a finite personal immortality in heaven; the other interpret it as an unwalled absorption in the Over Soul, like a breath in the air; while the more orthodox believers regard it as the entire identity of the soul with the Infinite One.

Against the opinion that there is only one Soul for all bodies, as one string supports all the gems of a necklace, some Hindu philosophers argue that the plurality of souls is proved by the consideration that, if there were but one soul, then when any one was born, or died, or was lame, or deaf, or occupied, or idle, all would at once be born, die, be lame, deaf, occupied, or idle. But Professor Wilson says, "This doctrine of the multitudinous existence or individual incorporation of Soul clearly contradicts the Vedas. They affirm one only existent soul to be distributed in all beings. It is beheld collectively or dispersedly, like the reflection of the moon in still or troubled water. Soul, eternal, omnipresent, undisturbed, pure, one, is multiplied by the power of delusion, not of its own nature."27

All the Brahmanic sects unite in thinking that liberation from the net of births is to be obtained and the goal of their wishes to be reached by one means only; and that is knowledge, real wisdom, an adequate sight of the truth. Without this knowledge there is no possible emancipation; but there are three ways of seeking the needed knowledge.

24 Ibid. vol. iv. p. 15.

25 Vishnu Purana, p. 287.

26 Weber, Akademische Vorlesungen uber Indische Literaturgeschichte, s. 160.

27 Sankbya Karika, p. 70.

Some strive, by direct intellectual abstraction and effort, by metaphysical speculation, to grasp the true principles of being. Others try, by voluntary penance, self abnegation, and pain, to accumulate such a degree of merit, or to bring the soul into such a state of preparedness, as will compel the truth to reveal itself. And still others devote themselves to the worship of some chosen deity, by ritual acts and fervid contemplation, to obtain by his favor the needed wisdom. A few quotations may serve to illustrate the Brahmanic attempts at winning this one thing needful, the knowledge which yields exemption from all incarnate lives.

The Sankhya philosophy is a regular system of metaphysics, to be studied as one would study algebra. It presents to its disciples an exhaustive statement of the forms of being in twenty five categories, and declares, "He who knows the twenty five principles, whatever order of life he may have entered, and whether he wear braided hair, a top knot only, or be shaven, he is liberated." "This discriminative wisdom releases forever from worldly bondage."28 "The virtuous is born again in heaven, the wicked is born again in hell; the fool wanders in error, the wise man is set free." "By ignorance is bondage, by knowledge is deliverance." "When Nature finds that soul has discovered that it is to her the distress of migration is owing, she is put to shame by the detection, and will suffer herself to be seen no more."29 "Through knowledge the sage is absorbed into Supreme Spirit."30 "The Supreme Spirit attracts to itself him who meditates upon it, as the loadstone attracts the iron."31 "He who seeks to obtain a knowledge of the Soul is gifted with it, the Soul rendering itself conspicuous to him." "Man, having known that Nature which is without a beginning or an end, is delivered from the grasp of death." "Souls are absorbed in the Supreme Soul as the reflection of the sun in water returns to him on the removal of the water."32

The thought underlying the last statement is that there is only one Soul, every individual consciousness being but an illusory semblance, and that the knowledge of this fact constitutes the all coveted emancipation. As one diffusive breath passing through the perforations of a flute is distinguished as the several notes of the scale, so the Supreme Spirit is single, though, in consequence of acts, it seems manifold. As every placid lakelet holds an unreal image of the one real moon sailing above, so each human soul is but a deceptive reflection of the one veritable Soul, or God. It may be worth while to observe that Plotinus, as is well known, taught the doctrine of the absolute identity of each soul with the entire and indistinguishable entity of God:

"Though God extends beyond creation's rim, Yet every being holds the whole of him."

It belongs to an unextended substance, an immateriality, to be everywhere by totality, not by portions. If God be omnipresent, he cannot be so dividedly, a part of him here and a part

28 Ibid. pp. 1, 16.

29 Ibid. pp. 48, 142, 174.

30 Vishnu Purana, p. 57.

31 Ibid. p. 651.

32 Rammohun Roy, Translations from the Veda, 2d ed., London, 1832, pp. 69, 39, 10.

of him there; but the whole of him must be in every particle of matter, in every point of space, in all infinitude.

The Brahmanic religion is a philosophy; and it keeps an incomparably strong hold on the minds of its devotees. Its most vital and comprehensive principle is expressed in the following sentence: "The soul itself is not susceptible of pain, or decay, or death; the site of these things is nature; but nature is unconscious; the consciousness that pain exists is restricted to the soul, although the soul is not the actual seat of pain." This is the reason why every Hindu yearns so deeply to be freed from the meshes of nature, why he so anxiously follows the light of faith and penance, or the clew of speculation, through all mazes of mystery. It is that he may at last gaze on the central TRUTH, and through that sight seize the fruition of the supreme and eternal good of man in the unity of his selfhood with the Infinite, and so be born no more and experience no more trouble. It is very striking to contrast with this profound and gorgeous dream of the East, whatever form it assumes, the more practical and definite thought of the West, as expressed in these lines of Tennyson's "In Memoriam:"

"That each, who seems a separate whole,
Should move his rounds, and, fusing all
The skirts of self again, should fall
Remerging in the general Soul,
Is faith as vague as all unsweet:
Eternal form shall still divide
The eternal soul from all beside,
And I shall know him when we meet."

But is it not still more significant to notice that, in the lines which immediately succeed, the love inspired and deep musing genius of the English thinker can find ultimate repose only by recurring to the very faith of the Hindu theosophist?

"And we shall sit at endless feast,
Enjoying each the other's good:
What vaster dream can hit the mood
Of Love on earth! He seeks at least
Upon the last and sharpest height,
Before the spirits fade away,
Some landing place, to clasp and say,
Farewell! We lose ourselves in light!"

We turn now to the Buddhist doctrine of a future life as distinguished from the Brahmanic. The "Four Sublime Truths" of Buddhism, as they are called, are these: first, that there is sorrow; secondly, that every living person necessarily feels it; thirdly, that it is desirable to be freed from it; fourthly, that the only deliverance from it is by that pure knowledge which destroys all cleaving to existence. A Buddha is a being who, in consequence of having reached the Buddhaship, which implies the possession of infinite goodness, infinite power, and infinite wisdom, is able to teach men that true knowledge which secures emancipation.

The Buddhaship that is, the possession of Supreme Godhead is open to every one, though few ever acquire it. Most wonderful and tremendous is the process of its attainment. Upon a time, some being, perhaps then incarnate as a mosquito alighting on a muddy leaf in some swamp, pauses for a while to muse. Looking up through infinite stellar systems, with hungry love and boundless ambition, to the throne and sceptre of absolute immensity, he vows within himself, "I will become a Buddha." The total influences of his past, the forces of destiny, conspiring with his purpose, omnipotence is in that resolution. Nothing shall ever turn him aside from it. He might soon acquire for himself deliverance from the dreadful vortex of births; but, determined to achieve the power of delivering others from their miseries as sentient beings, he voluntarily throws himself into the stream of successive existences, and with divine patience and fortitude undergoes every thing.

From that moment, no matter in what form he is successively born, whether as a disgusting bug, a white elephant, a monarch, or a god, he is a Bodhisat, that is, a candidate pressing towards the Buddhaship. He at once begins practising the ten primary virtues, called paramitas, necessary for the securing of his aim. The period required for the full exercise of one of these virtues is a bhumi. Its duration is thus illustrated. Were a Bodhisat once in a thousand births to shed a single drop of blood, he would in the space of a bhumi shed more blood than there is water in a thousand oceans. On account of his merit he might always be born amidst the pleasures of the heavens; but since he could there make no progress towards his goal, he prefers being born in the world of men. During his gradual advance, there is no good he does not perform, no hardship he does not undertake, no evil he does not willingly suffer; and all for the benefit of others, to obtain the means of emancipating those whom he sees fastened by ignorance in the afflictive circle of acts. Wherever born, acting, or suffering, his eye is still turned towards that EMPTY THRONE, at the apex of the universe, from which the last Buddha has vaulted into Nirwana. The Buddhists have many scriptures, especially one, called the "Book of the Five Hundred and Fifty Births," detailing the marvellous adventures of the Bodhisat during his numerous transmigrations, wherein he exhibits for each species of being to which he belongs a model character and life.

At length the momentous day dawns when the unweariable Bodhisat enters on his well earned Buddhaship. From that time, during the rest of his life, he goes about preaching discourses, teaching every prepared creature he meets the method of securing eternal deliverance. Leaving behind in these discourses a body of wisdom sufficient to guide to salvation all who will give attentive ear and heart, the Buddha then his sublime work of disinterested love being completed receives the fruition of his toil, the super essential prize of the universe, the Infinite Good. In a word, he dies, and enters Nirwana. There is no more evil of any sort for him at all forever. The final fading echo of sorrow has ceased in the silence of perfect blessedness; the last undulation of the wave of change has rolled upon the shore of immutability.

The only historic Buddha is Sakya Muni, or Gotama, who was born at Kapila about six centuries before Christ. His teachings contain many principles in common with those of the Brahmans. But he revolted against their insufferable conceit and cruelty. He protested against their claim that no one could obtain emancipation until after being born as a Brahman and passing through the various rites and degrees of their order. In the face of the most powerful and arrogant priesthood in the world, he preached the perfect equality of all mankind, and the consequent abolition of castes. Whoever acquires a total detachment of affection from all existence is thereby released from birth and misery; and the means of acquiring that detachment are freely offered to all in his doctrine.

Thus did Gotama preach. He took the monopoly of religion out of the hands of a caste, and proclaimed emancipation to every creature that breathes. He established his system in the valley of the Ganges near the middle of the sixth century before Christ. It soon overran the whole country, and held sway until about eight hundred years after Christ, when an awful persecution and slaughter on the part of the uprising Brahmans drove it out of the land with sword and fire. "The colossal figure which for fourteen centuries had bestridden the Indian continent vanished suddenly, like a rainbow at sunset."33

Gotama's philosophy, in its ontological profundity, is of a subtlety and vastness that would rack the brain of a Fichte or a Schelling; but, popularly stated, so far as our present purpose demands, it is this. Existence is the one all inclusive evil; cessation of existence, or Nirwana, is the infinite good. The cause of existence is ignorance, which leads one to cleave to existing objects; and this cleaving leads to reproduction. If one would escape from the chain of existence, he must destroy the cause of his confinement in it, that is, evil desire, or the cleaving to existing objects. The method of salvation in Gotama's system is to vanquish and annihilate all desire for existing things. How is this to be done? By acquiring an intense perception of the miseries of existence, on the one hand, and an intense perception, on the other hand, of the contrasted desirableness of the state of emancipation, or Nirwana. Accordingly, the discourses of Gotama, and the sacred books of the Buddhists, are filled with vivid accounts of every thing disgusting and horrible connected with existence, and with vivid descriptions, consciously faltering with inadequacy, of every thing supremely fascinating in connection with Nirwana. "The three reflections on the impermanency, suffering, and unreality of the body are three gates leading to the city of Nirwana." The constant claim is, that whosoever by adequate moral discipline and philosophical contemplation attains to a certain degree of wisdom, a certain degree of intellectual insight, instead of any longer cleaving to existence, will shudder at the thought of it, and, instead of shrinking from death, will be ravished with unfathomable ecstasy by the prospect of Nirwana. Then, when he dies, he is free from all liability to a return.

When Gotama, early in life, had accidentally seen in succession a wretchedly decrepit old man, a loathsomely diseased man, and a decomposing dead man, then the three worlds of passion, matter, and spirit seemed to him like a house on fire, and he longed to be extricated from the dizzy whirl of existence, and to reach the still haven of Nirwana. Finding ere long that he had now, as the reward of his incalculable endurances through untold aons past, become Buddha, he said to himself, "You have borne the misery of the whole round of transmigrations, and have arrived at infinite wisdom, which is the highway to Nirwana, the

33 Major Cunningham, Bbilsa Topes, or Buddhist Monuments of Central India, p. 168.

city of peace. On that road you are the guide of all beings. Begin your work and pursue it with fidelity." From that time until the day of his death he preached "the three laws of mortality, misery, and mutability." Every morning he looked through the world to see who should be caught that day in the net of truth, and took his measures accordingly to preach in the hearing of men the truths by which alone they could climb into Nirwana. When he was expiring, invisible gods, with huge and splendid bodies, came and stood, as thick as they could be packed, for a hundred and twenty miles around the banyan tree under which he awaited Nirwana, to gaze on him who had broken the circle of transmigration.34

The system of Gotama distinguishes seven grades of being: six subject to repeated death and birth; one the condition of the rahats and the Buddhaship exempt therefrom. "Who wins this has reached the shore of the stormy ocean of vicissitudes, and is in safety forever." Baur says, "The aim of Buddhism is that all may obtain unity with the original empty Space, so as to unpeople the worlds."35 This end it seeks by purification from all modes of cleaving to existing objects, and by contemplative discrimination, but never by the fanatical and austere methods of Brahmanism. Edward Upham, in his History of Buddhism, declares this earth to be the only ford to Nirwana. Others also make the same representation:

"For all that live and breathe have once been men, And in succession will be such again."

But the Buddhist authors do not always adhere to this statement. We sometimes read of men's entering the paths to Nirwana in some of the heavens, likewise of their entering the final fruition through a decease in a dewa loka. Still, it is the common view that emancipation from all existence can be secured only by a human being on earth. The last birth must be in that form. The emblem of Buddha, engraved on most of his monuments, is a wheel, denoting that he has finished and escaped from the circle of existences. Henceforth he is named Tathagata, he who has gone.

Let us notice a little more minutely what the Buddhists say of Nirwana; for herein to them hides all the power of their philosophy and lies the absorbing charm of their religion.

"The state that is peaceful, free from body, from passion, and from fear, where birth or death is not, that is Nirwana." "Nirwana puts an end to coming and going, and there is no other happiness." "It is a calm wherein no wind blows." "There is no difference in Nirwana." "It is the annihilation of all the principles of existence." "Nirwana is the completion and opposite shore of existence, free from decay, tranquil, knowing no restraint, and of great blessedness." "Nirwana is unmixed satisfaction, entirely free from sorrow." "The wind cannot be squeezed in the hand, nor can its color be told. Yet the wind is. Even so Nirwana is, but its properties cannot be told." "Nirwana, like space, is causeless, does not live nor die, and has no locality. It is the abode of those liberated from existence." "Nirwana is not, except to the being who attains it."36

34 Life of Gotama in Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. iii.

35 Symbolik and Mythologie, th. ii. abth. 2, s. 407.

36 For these quotations, and others similar, see Hardy's valuable work, "Eastern Monachism," chap. xxii., on "Nirwana, its Paths and Fruition."

Some scholars maintain that the Buddhist Nirwana is nothing but the atheistic Annihilation. The subject is confessedly a most difficult one. But it seems to us that the opinion just stated is the very antithesis of the true interpretation of Nirwana. In the first place, it should be remembered that there are various sects of Buddhists. Now, the word Nirwana may be used in different senses by different schools.37 A few persons a small party, represented perhaps by able writers may believe in annihilation in our sense of the term, just as has happened in Christendom, while the common doctrine of the people is the opposite of that. In the second place, with the Oriental horror of individuated existence, and a highly poetical style of writing, nothing could be more natural, in depicting their ideas of the most desirable state of being, than that they should carry their metaphors expressive of repose, freedom from action and emotion, to a pitch conveying to our cold and literal thought the conceptions of blank unconsciousness and absolute nothingness.

Colebrooke says, "Nirwana is not annihilation, but unceasing apathy. The notion of it as a happy state seems derived from the experience of ecstasies; or else the pleasant, refreshed feeling with which one wakes from profound repose is referred to the period of actual sleep."38 A Buddhist author speculates thus: "That the soul feels not during profound trance, is not for want of sensibility, but for want of sensible objects." Wilson, Hodgson, and Vans Kennedy three able thinkers, as well as scholars, in this field agree that Nirwana is not annihilation as we understand that word. Mr. Hodgson believes that the Buddhists expect to be "conscious in Nirwana of the eternal bliss of rest, as they are in this world of the ceaseless pain of activity." Forbes also argues against the nihilistic explanation of the Buddhist doctrine of futurity, and says he is compelled to conclude that Nirwana denotes imperishable being in a blissful quietude.39 Many additional authorities in favor of this view might be adduced, enough to balance, at least, the names on the other side. Koeppen, in his very fresh, vigorous, and lucid work, just published, entitled "The Religion of Buddha, and its Origin," says, "Nirwana is the blessed Nothing. Buddhism is the Gospel of Annihilation." But he forgets that the motto on the title page of his volume is the following sentence quoted from Sakya Muni himself: "To those who know the concatenation of causes and effects, there is neither being nor nothing." To them Nirwana is. Considering it, then, as an open question, unsettled by any authoritative assertion, we will weigh the probabilities of the case.

No definition of Nirwana is more frequent than the one given by the Kalpa Sutra,40 namely, "cessation from action and freedom from desire." But this, like many of the other representations, such, for instance, as the exclusion of succession, very plainly is not a denial of all being, but only of our present modes of experience. The dying Gotama is said to have "passed through the several states, one after another, until he arrived at the state where there is no pain. He then continued to enter the other higher states, and from the highest entered Nirwana." Can literal annihilation, the naked emptiness of nonentity, be better than

37 Burnouf, Introduction a l'Histoire du Buddhisme Indien, Appendice No. I., Du mot Nirvana.

38 Colebrooke, Essays, vol. i. p. 353.

39 Eleven Years in Ceylon, vol. ii. chap. ix.

40 Tanslation by Dr. Stevenson, p. 23.

the highest state of being? It can be so only when we view Nothing on the positive side as identical with All, make annihilating deprivation equivalent to universal bestowment, regard negation as affirmation, and, in the last synthesis of contradictions, see the abysmal Vacuum as a Plenum of fruition. As Oken says, "The ideal zero is absolute unity; not a singularity, as the number one, but an indivisibility, a numberlessness, a homogeneity, a translucency, a pure identity. It is neither great nor small, quiescent nor moved; but it is, and it is not, all this."41

Furthermore, if some of the Buddhist representations would lead us to believe that Nirwana is utter nothingness, others apparently imply the opposite. "The discourses of Buddha are a charm to cure the poison of evil desire; a succession of fruit bearing trees placed here and there to enable the traveller to cross the desert of existence; a power by which every sorrow may be appeased; a door of entrance to the eternal city of Nirwana." "The mind of the rahat" (one who has obtained assurance of emancipation and is only waiting for it to arrive) "knows no disturbance, because it is filled with the pleasure of Nirwana." "The sight of Nirwana bestows perfect happiness." "The rahat is emancipated from existence in Nirwana, as the lotus is separated from the mud out of which it springs." "Fire may be produced by rubbing together two sticks, though previously it had no locality: it is the same with Nirawna." "Nirwana is free from danger, peaceful, refreshing, happy. When a man who has been broiled before a huge fire is released, and goes quickly into some open space, he feels the most agreeable sensation. All the evils of existence are that fire, and Nirwana is that open space." These passages indicate the cessation in Nirwana of all sufferings, perhaps of all present modes of existence, but not the total end of being. It may be said that these are but figurative expressions. The reply is, so are the contrasted statements metaphors, and it is probable that the expressions which denote the survival of pure being in Nirwana are closer approximations to the intent of their authors than those which hint at an unconscious vacancy. If Nirwana in its original meaning was an utter and infinite blank, then, "out of that very Nothing," as Max Muller says, "human nature made a new paradise."

There is a scheme of doctrine held by some Buddhist philosophers which may be thus stated. There are five constituent elements of sentient existence. They are called khandas, and are as follows: the organized body, sensation, perception, discrimination, and consciousness. Death is the dissolution and entire destruction of these khandas, and apart from them there is no synthetical unit, soul, or personality. Yet in a certain sense death is not the absolute annihilation of a human existence, because it leaves a potentiality inherent in that existence. There is no identical ego to survive and be born again; but karma that is, the sum of a man's action, his entire merit and demerit produces at his death a new being, and so on in continued series until Nirwana is attained. Thus the succession of being is kept up with transmitted responsibility, as a flame is transferred from one wick to another. It is evident enough, as is justly claimed by Hardy and others, that the limitation of existence to the five khandas, excluding the idea of any independent individuality, makes death

41 Elements of Physiophilosophy, Tulk's trans. p. 9.

annihilation, and renders the very conception of a future life for those now living an absurdity. But we are convinced that this view is the speculative peculiarity of a sect, and by no means the common belief of the Buddhist populace or the teaching of Gotama himself. This appears at the outset from the fact that Gotama is represented as having lived through millions of existences, in different states and worlds, with preserved identity and memory. The history of his concatenated advance towards the Buddhaship is the supporting basis and the saturating spirit of documentary Buddhism. And the same idea pervades the whole range of narratives relating to the repeated births and deaths of the innumerable Buddhist heroes and saints who, after so many residences on earth, in the hells, in the dewalokas, have at last reached emancipation. They recollect their adventures; they recount copious portions of their experience stretching through many lives.

Again: the arguments cited from Buddha seem aimed to prove, not that there is absolutely no self in man, but that the five khandas are not the self, that the real self is something distinct from all that is exposed to misery and change, something deep, wondrous, divine, infinite. For instance, the report of a debate on this subject between Buddha and Sachaka closes with these words: "Thus was Sachaka forced to confess that the five khandas are impermanent, connected with sorrow, unreal, not the self.42 These terms appear to imply the reality of a self, only that it is not to be confounded with the apprehensible elements of existence. Besides, the attainment of Nirwana is held up as a prize to be laboriously sought by personal effort. To secure it is a positive triumph quite distinct from the fated dissolution of the khandas in death. Now, if there be in man no personal entity, what is it that with so much joy attains Nirwana? The genuine Buddhist notion, as seems most probable, is that the conscious essence of the rahat, when the exterior elements of existence fall from around him, passes by a transcendent climax and discrete leap beyond the outermost limits of appreciable being, and becomes that INFINITE which knows no changes and is susceptible of no definitions. In the Ka gyur collection of Tibetan sacred books, comprising a hundred volumes, and now belonging to the Cabinet of Manuscripts in the Royal Library of Paris, there are two volumes exclusively occupied by a treatise on Nirwana. It is a significant fact that the title of these volumes is "Nirwana, or Deliverance from Pain." If Nirwana be simply annihilation, why is it not so stated? Why should recourse be had to a phrase partially descriptive of one feature, instead of comprehensively announcing or implying the whole case?

Still further: it deserves notice that, according to the unanimous affirmation of Buddhist authors, if any Buddhist were offered the alternative of an existence as king of a dewa loka, keeping his personality for a hundred million years in the uninterrupted enjoyment of perfect happiness, or of translation into Nirwana, he would spurn the former as defilement, and would with unutterable avidity choose the latter. We must therefore suppose that by Nirwana he understands, not naked destruction, but some mysterious good, too vast for logical comprehension, too obscure to Occidental thought to find expression in Occidental language.

42 Hardy, Manual, p. 427.

At the moment when Gotama entered upon the Buddhaship, like a vessel overflowing with honey, his mind overflowed with the nectar of oral instruction, and he uttered these stanzas:

"Through many different births I have run, vainly seeking The architect of the desire resembling house. Painful are repeated births. O house builder! I have seen thee. Again a house thou canst not build for me. I have broken thy rafters and ridge pole; I have arrived at the extinction of evil desire; My mind is gone to Nirwana."

Hardy, who stoutly maintains that the genuine doctrine of Buddha's philosophy is that there is no transmigrating individuality in man, but that the karma creates a new person on the dissolution of the former one, confesses the difficulties of this dogma to be so great that "it is almost universally repudiated." M. Obry published at Paris, in 1856, a small volume entirely devoted to this subject, under the title of "The Indian Nirwana, or the Enfranchisement of the Soul after Death." His conclusion, after a careful and candid discussion, is, that Nirwana had different meanings to the minds of the ancient Aryan priests, the orthodox Brahmans, the Sankhya Brahmans, and the Buddhists, but had not to any of them, excepting possibly a few atheists, the sense of strict annihilation. He thinks that Burnouf and Barthelemy Saint Hilaire themselves would have accepted this view if they had paid particular attention to the definite inquiry, instead of merely touching upon it in the course of their more comprehensive studies.

What Spinoza declares in the following sentence "God is one, simple, infinite; his modes of being are diverse, complex, finite" strongly resembles what the Buddhists say of Nirwana and the contrasted vicissitudes of existence, and may perhaps throw light on their meaning. The supposition of immaterial, unlimited, absolutely unalterable being the scholastic ens sine qualitate answers to the descriptions of it much more satisfactorily than the idea of unqualified nothingness does. "Nirwana is real; all else is phenomenal." The Sankhyas, who do not hold to the nonentity nor to the annihilation of the soul, but to its eternal identification with the Infinite One, use nevertheless nearly the same phrases in describing it that the Buddhists do. For example, they say, "The soul is neither a production nor productive, neither matter nor form"43 The Vishnu Purana says, "The mundane egg, containing the whole creation, was surrounded by seven envelops, water, air, fire, ether, egotism, intelligence, and finally the indiscrete principle"44 Is not this Indiscrete Principle of the Brahmans the same as the Nirwana of the Buddhists? The latter explicitly claim that "man is capable of enlarging his faculties to infinity."

43 Sankhya Karika, pp. 16-18.

44 Vishnu Purana, p. 19.

Nagasena says to the king of Sagal, "Neither does Nirwana exist previously to its reception, nor is that which was not, brought into existence: still, to the being who attains it, there is Nirwana." According to this statement, taken in connection with the hundreds similar to it, Nirwana seems to be a simple mental perception, most difficult of acquirement, and, when acquired, assimilating the whole conscious being perfectly to itself. The Asangkrata Sutra, as translated by Mr. Hardy, says, "From the joyful exclamations of those who have seen Nirwana, its character may be known by those who have not made the same attainment." The superficial thinker, carelessly scanning the recorded sayings of Gotama and his expositors in relation to Nirwana, is aware only of a confused mass of metaphysical hieroglyphs and poetical metaphors; but the Buddhist sages avow that whoso, by concentrated study and training of his faculties, pursues the inquiry with adequate perseverance, will at last elicit and behold the real meaning of Nirwana, the achieved insight and revelation forming the widest horizon of rapturous truth ever contemplated by the human mind. The memorable remark of Sir William Hamilton, that "capacity of thought is not to be constituted into the measure of existence," should show the error of those who so unjustifiably affirm that, since Nirwana is said to be neither corporeal nor incorporeal, nor at all describable, it is therefore absolutely nothing. A like remark is also to be addressed to those who draw the same unwarrantable conclusion of the nothingness of Nirwana from the fact that it has no locality, or from the fact that it is sometimes said to exclude consciousness. Plato, in the Timaus, stigmatizes as a vulgar error the notion that what is not in any place is a nonentity. Many a weighty philosopher has followed him in this opinion. The denial of place is by no means necessarily the denial of being. So, too, with consciousness. It is conceivable that there is a being superior to all the modes of consciousness now known to us. We are, indeed, unable to define this, yet it may be. The profoundest analysis shows that consciousness consists of co ordinated changes.45 "Consciousness is a succession of changes combined and arranged in special ways." Now, in contrast to the Occidental thinker, who covets alternation because in his cold climate action is the means of enjoyment, the Hindu, in the languid East, where repose is the condition of enjoyment, conceives the highest blessedness to consist in exemption from every disturbance, in an unruffled unity excluding all changes. Therefore, while in some of its forms his dream of Nirwana admits not consciousness, still, it is not inconsistent with a homogeneous state of being, which he, in his metaphysical and theosophie soarings, apprehends as the grandest and most ecstatic of all.

The etymological force of the word Nirwana is extinction, as when the sun has set, a fire has burned out, or a lamp is extinguished. The fair laws of interpretation do not compel us, in cases like this, to receive the severest literal significance of a word as conveying the meaning which a popular doctrine holds in the minds of its believers. There is almost always looseness, vagueness, metaphor, accommodation. But take the term before us in its strictest sense, and mark the result. When a fire is extinguished, it is obvious that, while the flame has disappeared, the substance of the flame, whatever it was, has not ceased to be, has not been

45 Herbert Spencer, Principles of Psychology, ch. xxv.

actually annihilated. It has only ceased to be in a certain visible form in which it existed before; but it still survives under altered conditions. Now, to compare the putting out of a lamp to the death of a man, extinction is not actual destruction, but a transition of the flame into another state of being. That other state, in the case of the soul, is Nirwana.

There is a final consideration, possibly of some worth in dealing with this obscure theme. We will approach it through a preliminary query and quotation. That nothing can extend beyond its limits is an identical proposition. How vast, then, must be the soul of man in form or in power!

"If souls be substances corporeal, Be they as big just as the body is? Or shoot they out to the height ethereal? Doth it not seem the impression of a seal Can be no larger than the wax? The soul with that vast latitude must move Which measures the objects that it doth descry. So must it be upstretch'd unto the sky And rub against the stars."

Cousin asserts that man is conscious of infinity, that "the unconditional, the absolute, the infinite, is immediately known in consciousness by difference, plurality, and relation." Now, does not the consciousness of infinity imply the infinity of consciousness? If not, we are compelled into the contradiction that a certain entity or force reaches outside of its outermost boundary. The Buddhist ideal is not self annihilation, but self universalization. It is not the absorption of a drop into the sea, but the dilatation of a drop to the sea. Each drop swells to the whole ocean, each soul becomes the Boundless One, each rahat is identified with the total Nirwana. The rivers of emancipated men neither disembogue into the ocean of spirit nor evaporate into the abyss of nonentity, but are blended with infinitude as an ontological integer. Nirwana is unexposed and illimitable space. Buddhism is perfect disinterestedness, absolute self surrender. It is the gospel of everlasting emancipation for all. It cannot be that a deliberate suicide of soul is the ideal holding the deepest desire of four hundred millions of people. Nirwana is not negation, but a pure positive without alternation or foil.

Some light may be thrown on the subject by contemplating the successive states through which the dying Gotama passed. Max Muller describes them, after the Buddhist documents, thus: "He enters into the first stage of meditation when he feels freedom from sin, acquires a knowledge of the nature of all things, and has no desire except that of Nirvana. But he still feels pleasure; he even uses his reasoning and discriminating powers. The use of these powers ceases in the second stage of meditation, when nothing remains but a desire after Nirvana, and a general feeling of satisfaction arising from his intellectual perfection. That satisfaction, also, is extinguished in the third stage. Indifference succeeds; yet there is still self consciousness, and a certain amount of physical pleasure. In the fourth stage these last remnants are destroyed; memory fades away, all pleasure and pain are gone, and the doors of Nirvana now open before him. We must soar still higher, and, though we may feel giddy

and disgusted,46 we must sit out the tragedy till the curtain falls. After the four stages of meditation are passed, the Buddha (and every being is to become a Buddha) enters first into the infinity of space, then into the infinity of intelligence, and thence he passes into the third region, the realm of nothing. But even here there is no rest. There is still something left, the idea of the nothing in which he rejoices. That also must be destroyed; and it is destroyed in the fourth and last region, where there is not even the idea of a nothing left, and where there is complete rest, undisturbed by nothing, or what is not nothing."47 Analyze away all particulars until you reach an uncolored boundlessness of pure immateriality, free from every predicament; and that is Nirwana. This is one possible way of conceiving the fate of the soul; and the speculative mind must conceive it in every possible way. However closely the result resembles the vulgar notion of annihilation, the difference in method of approach and the difference to the contemplator's feeling are immense. The Buddhist apprehends Nirwana as infinitude in absolute and eternal equilibrium: the atheist finds Nirwana in a coffin. That is thought of with rapture, this, with horror.

It should be noticed, before we close this chapter, that some of the Hindus give a spiritual interpretation to all the gross physical details of their so highly colored and extravagant mythology. One of their sacred books says, "Pleasure and pain are states of the mind. Heaven is that which delights the mind, hell is that which gives it pain. Hence vice is called hell, and virtue is called heaven." Another author says, "The fire of the angry mind produces the fire of hell, and consumes its possessor. A wicked person causes his evil deeds to impinge upon himself, and that is hell." The various sects of mystics, allied in faith and feeling to the Sufis, which are quite numerous in the East, agree in a deep metaphorical explanation of the vulgar notions pertaining to Deity, judgment, heaven, and hell.

In conclusion, the most remarkable fact in this whole field of inquiry is the contrast of the Eastern horror of individuality and longing for absorption with the Western clinging to personality and abhorrence of dissolution.48 The true Orientalist, whether Brahman, Buddhist, or Sufi, is in love with death. Through this gate he expects to quit his frail and pitiable consciousness, losing himself, with all evil, to be born anew and find himself, with all good, in God. All sense, passion, care, and grief shall cease with deliverance from the spectral semblances of this false life. All pure contemplation, perfect repose, unsullied and unrippled joy shall begin with entrance upon the true life beyond. Thus thinking, he feels that death is the avenue to infinite expansion, freedom, peace, bliss; and he longs for it with an intensity not dreamed of by more frigid natures. He often compares himself, in this world aspiring towards another, to an enamored moth drawn towards the fire, and he exclaims, with a sigh and a thrill,

46 Not disgust, but wonder and awe, fathomless intellectual emotion, at so unparalleled a phenomenon of our miraculous human nature.

47 Buddhism and Buddhist Pilgrims, p. 19.

48 Burnouf, Le Bhagavata Purana, tome i. livre iii. ch. 28: Acquisition de la Delivrance, ch. 31.

Marche de l'ame individuelle. "Highest nature wills the capture; 'Light to light!' the instinct cries; And in agonizing rapture falls the moth, and bravely dies. Think not what thou art, Believer; think but what thou mayst become For the World is thy deceiver, and the Light thy only home." 49

The Western mind approaches the subject of death negatively, stripping off the attributes of finite being; the Eastern mind, positively, putting on the attributes of infinite being. Negative acts, denying function, are antipathetic, and lower the sense of life; positive acts, affirming function, are sympathetic, and raise the sense of life. Therefore the end to which those look, annihilation, is dreaded; that to which these look, Nirwana, is desired. To become nothing, is measureless horror; to become all, is boundless ecstasy.

49 Milnes, Palm Leaves.

Modern Doctrine of A Future Life

THE folly and paganism of some of the Church dogmas, the rapacious haughtiness of its spirit, the tyranny of its rule, and the immoral character of many of its practices, had often awakened the indignant protests and the determined opposition of men of enlightened minds, vigorous consciences, and generous hearts, both in its bosom and out of it. Many such men, vainly struggling to purify the Church from its iniquitous errors or to relieve mankind from its outrageous burdens, had been silenced and crushed by its relentless might. Arnold, Wickliffe, Wessel, Savonarola, and a host of others, are to be gratefully remembered forever as the heroic though unsuccessful forerunners of the mighty monk of Wittenberg.1 The corruption of the mediaval Church grew worse, and became so great as to stir a very extensive disgust and revulsion. Wholesale pardons for all their sins were granted indiscriminately to those who accepted the terms of the papal officials; while every independent thinker, however evangelical his faith and exemplary his character, was hopelessly doomed to hell. Especially were these pardons given to pilgrims and to the Crusaders. Bernard of Clairvaux, exhorting the people to undertake a new Crusade, tells them that "God condescends to invite into his service murderers, robbers, adulterers, perjurers, and those sunk in other crimes; and whosoever falls in this cause shall secure pardon for the sins which he has never confessed with contrite heart."2 At the opening of "Piers the Ploughman's Crede" a person is introduced saying, "I saw a company of pilgrims on their way to Rome, who came home with leave to lie all the rest of their lives!" Nash, in his "Lenten Stuff," speaks of a proclamation which caused "three hundred thousand people to roam to Rome for purgatorie pills." Ecclesiasticism devoured ethics. Allegiance to morality was lowered into devotion to a ritual. The sale of indulgences at length became too impudent and blasphemous to be any longer endured, when John Tetzel, a Dominican monk, travelled over Europe, and, setting up his auction block in the churches, offered for sale those famous indulgences of Leo X. which promised, to every one rich enough to pay the requisite price, remission of all sins, however enormous, and whether past, present, or future!3 This brazen but authorized charlatan boasted that "he had saved more souls from hell by the sale of indulgences than St. Peter had converted to Christianity by his preaching." He also said that "even if any one had ravished the Mother of God he could sell him a pardon for it!" The soul of Martin Luther took fire. The consequence to which a hundred combining causes contributed was the Protestant Reformation. This great movement produced, in relation to our subject, three important results. It noticeably modified the practice and the popular preaching of the Roman Catholic Church.

1 Ullmann, Reformatoren vor der Reformation.

2 Epist. CCCLXIII. ad Orientalis Francia Clerum et Populum.

3 D'Aubigne, Hist. Reformation, book iii.

The dogmas of the Romanist theology remained as they were before. But a marked change took place in the public conduct of the papal functionaries. Morality was made more prominent, and mere ritualism less obtrusive. Comparatively speaking, an emphasis was taken from ecclesiastic confession and indulgence, and laid upon ethical obedience and piety. The Council of Trent, held at this time, says, in its decree concerning indulgences, "In granting indulgences, the Church desires that moderation be observed, lest, by excessive facility, ecclesiastical discipline be enervated." Imposture became more cautious, threats less frequent and less terrible; the teeth of persecution were somewhat blunted; miracles grew rarer; the insufferable glare of purgatory and hell faded, and the open traffic in forgiveness of sins, or the compounding for deficiencies, diminished. But among the more ignorant papal multitudes the mediaval superstition holds its place still in all its virulence and grossness. "Heaven and hell are as much a part of the Italian's geography as the Adriatic and the Apennines; the Queen of Heaven looks on the streets as clear as the morning star; and the souls in purgatory are more readily present to conception than the political prisoners immured in the dungeons of Venice."

A second consequence of the Reformation is seen in the numerous dissenting sects to which its issues gave rise. The chief peculiarities of the Protestant doctrines of the future life are embodied in the four leading denominations commonly known as Lutheran, Calvinistic, Unitarian, and Universalist. Each of these includes a number of subordinate parties bearing distinctive names, (such as Arminian, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Restorationist, and many others;) but these minor differences are too trivial to deserve distinctive characterization here. The Lutheran formula is that, through the sacrifice of Christ, salvation is offered to all who will accept it by a sincere faith. Some will comply with these terms and secure heaven; others will not, and so will be lost forever. Luther's views were not firmly defined and consistent throughout his career; they were often obscure, and they fluctuated much. It is true he always insisted that there was no salvation without faith, and that all who had faith should be saved. But, while he generally seems to believe in the current doctrine of eternal damnation, he sometimes appears to encourage the hope that all will finally be saved. In a remarkable letter to Hansen von Rechenberg, dated 1522, he says, in effect, "Whoso hath faith in Christ shall be saved. God forbid that I should limit the time for acquiring this faith to the present life! In the depths of the Divine mercy, there may be opportunity to win it in the future state."

The Calvinistic formula is that heaven is attainable only for those whom the arbitrary predestination of God has elected; all others are irretrievably damned. Calvin was the first Christian theologian who succeeded in giving the fearful doctrine of unconditional election and reprobation a lodgment in the popular breast. The Roman Catholic Church had earnestly repudiated it. Gotteschalk was condemned and died in prison for advocating it, in the ninth century. But Calvin's character enabled him to believe it, and his talents and position gave great weight to his advocacy of it, and it has since been widely received. Catholicism, Lutheranism, Calvinism, all agreed in the general proposition that by sin physical death came into the world, heaven was shut against man, and all men utterly lost. They differed only in some unessential details concerning the condition of that lost state. They also agreed in the general proposition that Christ came, by his incarnation, death, descent to hell, resurrection, and ascension, to redeem men from their lost state. They only differed in regard to the precise grounds and extent of that redemption. The Catholic said, Christ's atonement wiped off the whole score of original sin, and thus enabled man to win heaven by moral fidelity and the help of the Church. The Lutheran said, Christ's atonement made all the sins of those who have faith, pardonable; and all may have faith. The Calvinist said, God foresaw that man would fall and incur damnation, and he decreed that a few should be snatched as brands from the burning, while the mass should be left to eternal torture; and Christ's atonement purchased the predestined salvation of the chosen few. Furthermore, Lutherans and Calvinists, in all their varieties, agree with the Romanist in asserting that Christ shall come again, the dead be raised bodily, a universal judgment be held, and that then the condemned shall sink into the everlasting fire of hell, and the accepted rise into the endless bliss of heaven.

The Socinian doctrine relative to the future fate of man differed from the foregoing in the following particulars. First, it limited the redeeming mission of Christ to the enlightening influences of the truths which he proclaimed with Divine authority, the moral power of his perfect example, and the touching motives exhibited in his death. Secondly, it asserted a natural ability in every man to live a life conformed to right reason and sound morality, and promised heaven to all who did this in obedience to the instructions and after the pattern of Christ. Thirdly, it declared that the wicked, after suffering excruciating agonies, would be annihilated. Respecting the second coming of Christ, a physical resurrection of the dead, and a day of judgment, the Socinians believed with the other sects.4 Their doctrine scarcely corresponds with that of the present Unitarians in any thing. The dissent of the Unitarian from the popular theology is much more fundamental, detailed, and consistent than that of the Socinian was, and approaches much closer to the Rationalism of the present day.

The Universalist formula every soul created by God shall sooner or later be saved from sin and woe and inherit everlasting happiness has been publicly defended in every age of the Christian Church.5 It was first publicly condemned as a heresy at the very close of the fourth century. It ranks among its defenders the names of Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, and several other prominent Fathers. Universalism has been held in four forms, on four grounds. First, it has been supposed that Christ died for all, and that, by the infinite efficacy of his redeeming merits, all sins shall be cancelled and every soul be saved. This was the scheme of those early Universalist Christians whom Epiphanius condemns as heretics; also of a few in more modern times. Secondly, it has been thought that each person would be punished in the future state according to the deeds done in the body, each sin be expiated by a proportionate amount of suffering, the retribution of some souls being severe and long, that of others light and brief; but, every penalty being at

4 Flugge gives a full exposition of these points with references to the authorities. Lehre vom Zustande, u. s. f., abth. ii. ss. 243-260.

5 Dietelmaier, Commenti Fanatici [non-ASCII characters omitted] Hist. Antiquar.

length exhausted, the last victim would be restored. This was the notion of Origen, the basis of the doctrine of purgatory, and the view of most of the Restorationists. Thirdly, it has been imagined that, by the good pleasure and fixed laws of God, all men are destined to an impartial, absolute, and instant salvation beyond the grave: all sins are justly punished, all moral distinctions equitably compensated, in this life; in the future an equal glory awaits all men, by the gracious and eternal election of God, as revealed to us in the benignant mission of Christ. This is the peculiar conception distinguishing some members of the denomination now known as Universalists. Finally, it has been believed that the freedom and probation granted here extend into the life to come; that the aim of all future punishment will be remedial, beneficent, not revengeful; that stronger motives will be applied for producing repentance, and grander attractions to holiness be felt; and that thus, at some time or other, even the most sunken and hardened souls will be regenerated and raised up to heaven in the image of God. Almost all Universalists, most Unitarians, and large number of individual Christians outwardly affiliated with other denominations, now accept and cherish this theory.

One important variation from the doctrine of the dominant sects, in connection with the present subject, is worthy of special notice. We refer to the celebrated controversy waged in England, in the first part of the eighteenth century, in regard to the intermediate state of the dead. The famous Dr. Coward and a few supporters labored, with much zeal, skill, and show of learning, to prove the natural mortality of the soul. They asserted this to be both a philosophical truth proved by scientific facts and a Christian doctrine declared in Scripture and taught by the Fathers. They argued that the soul is not an independent entity, but is merely the life of the body. Proceeding thus far on the principles of a materialistic science, they professed to complete their theory from Scripture, without doing violence to any doctrine of the acknowledged religion.6 The finished scheme was this. Man was naturally mortal; but, by the pleasure and will of God, he would have been immortally preserved alive had he not sinned. Death is the consequence of sin, and man utterly perishes in the grave. But God will restore the dead, through Christ, at the day of the general resurrection which he has foretold in the gospel.7 Some of the writers in this copious controversy maintained that previous to the advent of Christ death was eternal annihilation to all except a few who enjoyed an inspired anticipatory faith in him, but that all who died after his coming would be restored in the resurrection, the faithful to be advanced to heaven, the wicked to be the victims of unending torture.8 Clarke and Baxter both wrote with extreme ability in support of the natural immortality and separate existence of the soul. On the other hand, the learned Henry Dodwell cited, from the lore of three thousand years, a plausible body of authorities to show that the soul is in itself but a mortal breath. He also contended, by a singular perversion of figurative phrases from the New Testament and from some of the Fathers, that,

6 Coward, Search after Souls.

7 Hallet, No Resurrection, no Future State.

8 Coward, Defence of the Search after Souls. Dodwell, Epistolary Discourse. Peckard, Observations. Fleming, Survey of the Search after Souls. Law, State of Separate Spirits. Layton, Treatise of Departed Souls.

in counteraction of man's natural mortality, all who undergo baptism at the hands of the ordained ministers of the Church of England the only true priesthood in apostolic succession thereby receive an immortalizing spirit brought into the world by Christ and committed to his successors. This immortalizing spirit conveyed by baptism would secure their resurrection at the last day. Those destitute of this spirit would never awake from the oblivious sleep of death, unless as he maintained will actually be the case with a large part of the dead they are arbitrarily immortalized by the pleasure of God, in order to suffer eternal misery in hell! Absurd and shocking as this fancy was, it obtained quite a number of converts, and made no slight impression at the time. One of the writers in this controversy asserted that Luther himself had been a believer in the death or sleep of the soul until the day of judgment.9 Certain it is that such a belief had at one period a considerable prevalence. Its advocates were called Psychopannychians. Calvin wrote a vehement assault on them. The opinion has sunk into general disrepute and neglect, and it would be hard to find many avowed disciples of it. The nearly universal sentiment of Christendom would now exclaim, in the quaint words of Henry More,

"What! has old Adam snorted all this time Under some senselesse clod, with sleep ydead?" 10

John Asgill printed, in the year 1700, a tract called "An argument to prove that by the new covenant man may be translated into eternal life without tasting death." He argues that the law of death was a consequence of Adam's sin and was annulled by Christ's sacrifice. Since that time men have died only because of an obstinate habit of dying formed for many generations. For his part, he has the independence and resolution to withstand the universal pusillanimity and to refuse to die. He has discovered "an engine in Divinity to convey man from earth to heaven." He will "play a trump on death and show himself a match for the devil!"

While treating of the various Protestant views of the future life, it would be a glaring defect to overlook the remarkable doctrine on that subject published by Emanuel Swedenborg and now held by the intelligent, growing body of believers called after his name. It would be impossible to exhibit this system adequately in its scientific bases and its complicated details without occupying more space than can be afforded here. Nor is this necessary, now that his own works have been translated and are easily accessible everywhere. His "Heaven and Hell," "Heavenly Arcana," "Doctrine of Influx," and "True Christian

9 Blackburne, View of the Controversy Concerning an Intermediate State: appendix. It is probable that the great Reformer's opinion on this point was not always the same. For he says, distinctly, "The first man who died, when he awakes at the last day, will think he has been asleep but an hour" Beste, Dr. M. Luther's Glaubenslehre, cap. iv.: Die Lehre von den Letzen Dingen. Yet. J. S. Muller seems conclusively to prove the truth of the proposition which forms the title of his book, "Dass Luther die Lehre vom Seelenschlafe nie geglaubt habe."

10 The controversy concerning the natural immortality of the soul has within a few years raged afresh. The principal combatants were Dobney, Storrs, White, Morris, and Hinton. See Athanasia, by J. H. Hinton, London, 1849.

Religion," contain manifold statements and abundant illustrations of every thing important bearing on his views of the theme before us. We shall merely attempt to present a brief synopsis of the essential principles, accompanied by two or three suggestions of criticism.

Swedenborg conceives man to be an organized receptacle of truth and love from God. He is an imperishable spiritual body placed for a season of probation in a perishable material body. Every moment receiving the essence of his being afresh from God, and returning it through the fruition of its uses devoutly rendered in conscious obedience and joyous worship, he is at once a subject of personal, and a medium of the Divine, happiness. The will is the power of man's life, and the understanding is its form. When the will is disinterested love and the understanding is celestial truth, then man fulfils the end of his being, and his home is heaven; he is a spirit frame into which the goodness of God perpetually flows, is humbly acknowledged, gratefully enjoyed, and piously returned. But when his will is hatred or selfishness and his understanding is falsehood or evil, then his powers are abused, his destiny inverted, and his fate hell. While in the body in this world he is placed in freedom, on probation, between these two alternatives.

The Swedenborgian universe is divided into four orders of abodes. In the highest or celestial world are the heavens of the angels. In the lowest or infernal world are the hells of the demons. In the intermediate or spiritual world are the earths inhabited by men, and surrounded by the transition state through which souls, escaping from their bodies, after a while soar to heaven or sink to hell, according to their fitness and attraction. In this life man is free, because he is an energy in equilibrium between the influences of heaven and hell. The middle state surrounding man is full of spirits, some good and some bad. Every man is accompanied by swarms of both sorts of spirits, striving to make him like themselves. Now, there are two kinds of influx into man. Mediate influx is when the spirits in the middle state flow into man's thoughts and affections. The good spirits are in communication with heaven, and they carry what is good and true; the evil spirits are in communication with hell, and they carry what is evil and false. Between these opposed and reacting agencies man is in an equilibrium whose essence is freedom. Deciding for himself, if he turns with embracing welcome to the good spirits, he is thereby placed and lives in conjunction with heaven; but if he turns, on the contrary, with predominant love to the bad spirits, he is placed in conjunction with hell and draws his life thence. From heaven, therefore, through the good spirits, all the elements of saving goodness flow sweetly down and are appropriated by the freedom of the good man; while from hell, through the bad spirits, all the elements of damning evil flow foully up and are appropriated by the freedom of the bad man.

The other kind of influx is called immediate. This is when the Lord himself, the pure substance of truth and good, flows into every organ and faculty of man. This influx is perpetual, but is received as truth and good only by the true and good. It is rejected, suffocated, or perverted by those who are in love with falsities and evils. So the light of the sun produces colors varying with the substances it falls on, and water takes forms corresponding to the vessels it is poured into.

The whole invisible world heaven, hell, and the middle state is peopled solely from the different families of the human race occupying the numerous material globes of the universe. The good, on leaving the fleshly body, are angels, the bad, demons. There is no angel nor demon who was created such at first. Satan is not a personality, but is a figurative term standing for the whole complex of hell. In the invisible world, time and space in one sense cease to be; in another sense they remain unchanged. They virtually cease because all our present measures of them are annihilated;11 they virtually remain because exact correspondences to them are left. To spirits, time is no longer measured by the revolution of planets, but by the succession of inward states; space is measured not by way marks and the traversing of distances, but by inward similitudes and dissimilitudes. Those who are unlike are sundered by gulfs of difference. Those who are alike are together in their interiors. Thought and love, forgetfulness and hate, are not hampered by temporal and spatial boundaries. Spiritual forces and beings spurn material impediments, and are united or separate, reciprocally visible or invisible, mutually conscious or unconscious, according to their own laws of kindred or alien adaptedness.

The soul the true man is its own organized and deathless body, and when it leaves its earthly house of flesh it knows the only resurrection, and the cast off frame returns to the dust forever. Swedenborg repeatedly affirms with emphasis that no one is born for hell, but that all are born for heaven, and that when any one comes into hell it is from his own free fault. He asserts that every infant, wheresoever born, whether within the Church or out of it, whether of pious parents or of impious, when he dies is received by the Lord, and educated in heaven, and becomes an angel. A central principle of which he never loses sight is that "a life of charity, which consists in acting sincerely and justly in every function, in every engagement, and in every work, from a heavenly motive, according to the Divine laws, is possible to every one, and infallibly leads to heaven." It does not matter whether the person leading such a life be a Christian or a Gentile. The only essential is that his ruling motive be divine and his life be in truth and good.

The Swedenborgian doctrine concerning Christ and his mission is that he was the infinite God incarnate, not incarnate for the purpose of expiating human sin and purchasing a ransom for the lost by vicarious sufferings, but for the sake of suppressing the rampant power of the hells, weakening the influx of the infernal spirits, setting an example to men, and revealing many important truths. The advantage of the Christian over the pagan is that the former is enlightened by the celestial knowledge contained in the Bible, and animated by the affecting motives presented in the drama of the Divine incarnation. There is no probation after this life. Just as one is on leaving the earth he goes into the spiritual world. There his

11 Philo the Jew says, (vol. i. p. 277, ed. Mangey,) "God is the Father of the world: the world is the father of time, begetting it by its own motion: time, therefore, holds the place of grandchild to God." But the world is only one measure of time; another, and a more important one, is the inward succession of the spirit's states of consciousness. Between Philo and Swedenborg, it may be remarked here, there are many remarkable correspondences both of thought and language. For example, Philo says, (vol. i. p. 494,) "Man is a small kosmos, the kosmos is a grand man."

ruling affection determines his destiny, and that affection can never be extirpated or changed to all eternity. After death, evil life cannot in any manner or degree be altered to good life, nor infernal love be transmuted to angelic love, inasmuch as every spirit from head to foot is in quality such as his love is, and thence such as his life is, so that to transmute this life into the opposite is altogether to destroy the spirit. It were easier, says Swedenborg, to change a night bird into a dove, an owl into a bird of paradise, than to change a subject of hell into a subject of heaven after the line of death has been crossed. But why the crossing of that line should make such an infinite difference he does not explain; nor does he prove it as a fact.

The moral reason and charitable heart of Swedenborg vehemently revolted from the Calvinistic doctrines of predestination and vicarious atonement, and the group of thoughts that cluster around them. He always protests against these dogmas, refutes them with varied power and consistency; and the leading principles of his own system are creditable to human nature, and attribute no unworthiness to the character of God. A debt of eternal gratitude is due to Swedenborg that his influence, certainly destined to be powerful and lasting, is so clearly calculated to advance the interests at once of philosophic intelligence, social affection, and true piety. The superiorities of his view of the future life over those which it seeks to supplant are weighty and numerous. The following may be reckoned among the most prominent.

First, without predicating of God any aggravated severity or casting the faintest shadow on his benevolence, it gives us the most appalling realization of the horribleness of sin and of its consequences. God is commonly represented in effect, at least as flaming with anger against sinners, and forcibly flinging them into the unappeasable fury of Tophet, where his infinite vengeance may forever satiate itself on them. But, Swedenborg says, God is incapable of hatred or wrath: he casts no one into hell; but the wicked go where they belong by their own election, from the inherent fitness and preference of their ruling love. The evil man desires to be in hell because there he finds his food, employment, and home; in heaven he would suffer unutterable agonies from every circumstance. The wicked go into hell by the necessary and benignant love of God, not by his indignation; and their retributions are in their own characters, not in their prison house. This does not flout and trample all magnanimity, nor shock the heart of piety; and yet, showing us men compelled to prefer wallowing in the filth and iniquities of hell, clinging to the very evils whose pangs transfix them, it gives us the direst of all the impressions of sin, and beneath the lowest deep of the popular hell opens to our shuddering conceptions a deep of loathsomeness immeasurably lower still.

Secondly, the Swedenborgian doctrine of the conditions of salvation or reprobation, when compared with the popular doctrine, is marked by striking depth of insight, justice, and liberality. Every man is free. Every man has power to receive the influx of truth and good from the Lord and convert it to its blessed and saving uses, piety towards God, good will towards the neighbor, and all kinds of right works. Who does this, no matter in what land or age he lives, becomes an heir of heaven. Who perverts those Divine gifts to selfishness and unrighteous deeds becomes a subject of hell. No mere opinion, no mere profession, no mere ritual services, no mere external obedience, not all these things together, can save a man, nor their absence condemn him; but the controlling motive of his life, the central and ruling love which constitutes the substance of his being, this decides every man's doom. The view is simple, reasonable, just, necessary. And so is the doctrine of degrees accompanying it; namely, that there are in heaven different grades and qualities of exaltation and delight, and in hell of degradation and woe, for different men according to their capacities and deserts. A profoundly ethical character pervades the scheme, and the great stamp of law is over it all.

Thirdly, a manifest advantage of Swedenborg's doctrine over the popular doctrine is the intimate connection it establishes between the present and the future, the visible and the invisible, God and man. Heaven and hell are not distant localities, entrance into which is to be won or avoided by moral artifices or sacramental subterfuges, but they are states of being depending on personal goodness or evil. God is not throned at the heart or on the apex of the universe, where at some remote epoch we hope to go and see him, but he is the Life feeding our lives freshly every instant. The spiritual world, with all its hosts, sustains and arches, fills and envelops us. Death is the dropping of the outer body, the lifting of an opaque veil, and we are among the spirits, unchanged, as we were before. Judgment is not a tribunal dawning on the close of the world's weary centuries, but the momentary assimilation of a celestial or an infernal love leading to states and acts, rewards and retributions, corresponding. Before this view the dead universe becomes a live transparency overwritten with the will, tremulous with the breath, and irradiate with the illumination of God.

We cannot but regret that the Swedenborgian view of the future life should be burdened and darkened with the terrible error of the dogma of eternal damnation, spreading over the state of all the subjects of the hells the pall of immitigable hopelessness, denying that they can ever make the slightest ameliorating progress. We have never been able to see force enough in any of the arguments or assertions advanced in support of this tremendous horror to warrant the least hesitation in rejecting it. For ourselves, we must regard it as incredible, and think that God cannot permit it. Instruction, reformation, progress, are the final aims of punishment. Aspiration is the concomitant of consciousness, and the authentic voice of God. Surely, sooner or later, in the boonful eternities of being, every creature capable of intelligence, allied to the moral law, drawing life from the Infinite, must begin to travel the ascending path of virtue and blessedness, and never retrograde again.

Neither can we admit in general the claim made by Swedenborg and by his disciples that the way in which he arrived at his system of theology elevates it to the rank of a Divine revelation. It is asserted that God opened his interior vision, so that he saw what had hitherto been concealed from the eyes of men in the flesh, namely, the inhabitants, laws, contents, and experiences of the spiritual world, and thus that his statements are not speculations or arguments, but records of unerring knowledge, his descriptions not fanciful pictures of the imagination, but literal transcripts of the truth he saw. This, in view of the great range of known experience, is not intrinsically probable, and we have seen no proof of it. Judging from what we know of psychological and religious history, it is far more likely that a man should confound his intangible reveries with solid fact than that he should be inspired by God to reveal a world of mysterious truths. Furthermore, while we are impressed with the reasonableness, probability, and consistency of most of the general principles of Swedenborg's exposition of the future life, we cannot but shrink from many of the details and forms in which he carries them out. Notwithstanding the earnest avowals of able disciples of his school that all his details are strictly necessitated by his premises, and that all his premises are laws of truth, we are compelled to regard a great many of his assertions as purely arbitrary and a great many of his descriptions as purely fanciful. But, denying that his scheme of eschatology is a scientific representation of the reality, and looking at it as a poetic structure reared by co working knowledge and imagination on the ground of reason, nature, and morality, whose foundation walls, columns, and grand outlines are truth, while many of its details, ornaments, and images are fancy, it must be acknowledged to be one of the most wonderful examples of creative power extant in the literature of the world. No one who has mastered it with appreciative mind will question this. There are, expressed and latent, in the totality of Swedenborg's accounts of hell and heaven, more variety of imagery, power of moral truth and appeal, exhibition of dramatic justice, transcendent delights of holiness and love, curdling terrors of evil and woe, strength of philosophical grasp, and sublimity of emblematic conception, than are to be found in Dante's earth renowned poem. We say this of the substance of his ideas, not of the shape and clothing in which they are represented. Swedenborg was no poet in language and form, only in conception.

Take this picture. In the topmost height of the celestial world the Lord appears as a sun, and all the infinite multitudes of angels, swarming up through the innumerable heavens, wherever they are, continually turn their faces towards him in love and joy. But at the bottom of the infernal world is a vast ball of blackness, towards which all the hosts of demons, crowding down through the successive hells, forever turn their eager faces away from God. Or consider this. Every thing consists of a great number of perfect leasts like itself: every heart is an aggregation of little hearts, every lung an aggregation of little lungs, every eye an aggregation of little eyes. Following out the principle, every society in the spiritual world is a group of spirits arranged in the form of a man, every heaven is a gigantic man composed of an immense number of individuals, and all the heavens together constitute one Grand Man, a countless number of the most intelligent angels forming the head, a stupendous organization of the most affectionate making the heart, the most humble going to the feet, the most useful attracted to the hands, and so on through every part.

With exceptions, then, we regard Swedenborg's doctrine of the future life as a free poetic presentment, not as a severe scientific statement, of views true in moral principle, not of facts real in literal detail. His imagination and sentiment are mathematical and ethical instead of asthetic and passionate. Milk seems to run in his veins instead of blood, but he is of truthfulness and charity all compact. We think it most probable that the secret of his supposed inspiration was the abnormal frequent or chronic turning of his mind into what is called the ecstatic or clairvoyant state. This condition being spontaneously induced, while he yet, in some unexplained manner, retained conscious possession and control of his usual faculties, he treated his subjective conceptions as objective realities, believed his interior contemplations were accurate visions of facts, and took the strange procession of systematic reveries through his teeming brain for a scenic revelation of the exhaustive mysteries of heaven and hell. "Each wondrous guess beheld the truth it sought, And inspiration flash'd from what was thought."

This hypothesis, taken in conjunction with the comprehensiveness of his mind, the vastness of his learning, the integral correctness of his conscience, and his disciplined habits of thought, will go far towards explaining the unparalleled phenomenon of his theological works; and, though it leaves many things unaccounted for, it seems to us more credible than any other which has yet been suggested.

The last of the three prominent phenomena which as before said followed the Protestant Reformation was rationalism, an attempt to try all religious questions at the tribunal of reason and by the tests of conscience. The great movement led by Luther was but one element in a numerous train of influences and events all yielding their different contributions to that resolute rationalistic tendency which afterwards broke out so powerfully in England, France, and Germany, and, spreading thence into every country in Christendom, has been, in secret and in public, with slow, sure steps, irresistibly advancing ever since. In the history of scholasticism there were three distinct epochs. The first period was characterized by the servile submission and conformity of philosophy to the theology dictated by the Church. The second period was marked by the formal alliance and attempted reconciliation of philosophy and theology. The third period saw an ever increasing jealousy and separation between the philosophers and the theologians.12 Many an adventurous thinker pushed his speculations beyond the limits of the established theology, and deliberately dissented from the orthodox standards in his conclusions. Perhaps Abelard, who openly strove to put all the Church dogmas in forms acceptable to philosophy, and who did not hesitate to reject in many instances what seemed to him unreasonable, deserves to be called the father of rationalism. The works of Des Cartes, Leibnitz, Wolf, Kant's "Religion within the Bounds of Pure Reason," together with the influence and the writings of many other eminent philosophers, gradually gave momentum to the impulse and popularity to the habits of free thought and criticism even in the realm of theology. The dogmatic scheme of the dominant Church was firmly seized, many errors shaken out to the light and exposed, and many long received opinions questioned and flung into doubt.13 The authenticity of many of the popular doctrines regarding the future life could not fail to be denied as soon as it was attempted as was extensively done about the middle of the eighteenth century to demonstrate them by mathematical methods, with all the array of axioms, theorems, lemmas, doubts, and solutions. Flugge has historically illustrated the employment of this method at considerable length.14

12 Cousin, Hist. Mod. Phil., lect. ix.

13 Staudlin, Geschichte des Rationalismus. Saintes, Histoire Critique du Rationalisme en Allemagne, Eng. trans. by Dr. Beard.

14 Geschichte des Glaubens an Unsterblichkeit, u. s. f., th. iii. abth. ii. ss. 281-289.

The essence of rationalism is the affirmation that neither the Fathers, nor the Church, nor the Scriptures, nor all of them together, can rightfully establish any proposition opposed to the logic of sound philosophy, the principles of reason, and the evident truth of nature. Around this thesis the battle has been fought and the victory won; and it will stand with spreading favor as long as there are unenslaved and cultivated minds in the world. This position is, in logical necessity, and as a general thing in fact, that of the large though loosely cohering body of believers known as "Liberal Christians;" and it is tacitly held by still larger and ever growing numbers nominally connected with sects that officially eschew it with horror. The result of the studies and discussions associated with this principle, so far as it relates to the subject before us, has been the rejection of the following popular doctrines: the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures as an ultimate authority in matters of belief; unconditional predestination; the satisfaction theory of the vicarious atonement; the visible second coming of Christ, in person, to burn up the world and to hold a general judgment; the intermediate state of souls; the resurrection of the body; a local hell of material fire in the bowels of the earth; the eternal damnation of the wicked. These old dogmas,15 scarcely changed, still remain in the stereotyped creeds of all the prominent denominations; but they slumber there to an astonishing extent unrealized, unnoticed, unthought of, by the great multitude of common believers, while every consciously rational investigator vehemently repudiates them. To every candid mind that has really studied their nature and proofs their absurdity is now transparent on all the grounds alike of history, metaphysics, morals, and science.

The changes of the popular Christian belief in regard to three salient points have been especially striking. First, respecting the immediate fate of the dead, an intermediate state. The predominant Jewish doctrine was that all souls went indiscriminately into a sombre under world, where they awaited a resurrection.

The earliest Christian view prevalent was the same, with the exception that it divided that place of departed spirits into two parts, a painful for the bad, a pleasant for the good. The next opinion that prevailed the Roman Catholic was the same as the foregoing, with two exceptions: it established a purgatory in addition to the previous paradise and hell, and it opened heaven itself for the immediate entrance of a few spotless souls. Pope John XXII., as Gieseler shows, was accused of heresy by the theological doctors of Paris because he declared that no soul could enter heaven and enjoy the beatific vision until after the resurrection. Pope Benedict XII. drew up a list of one hundred and seventeen heretical opinions held by the Armenian Christians. One of these notions was that the souls of all deceased adults wander in the air until the Day of Judgment, neither hell, paradise, nor heaven being open to them until after that day. Thomas Aquinas says, "Each soul at death immediately flies to its appointed place, whether in hell or in heaven, being without the body until the resurrection, with it afterwards."16 Then came the

15 They are defended in all their literal grossness in the two following works, both recent publications. The World to Come; by the Rev. James Cochrane. Der Tod, das Todtenreich, und der Zustand der abgeschiedenen Seelen; von P. A. Maywahlen.

16 Summa iii. in Suppl. 69. 2.

dogma of the orthodox Protestants, slightly varying in the different sects, but generally agreeing that at death all redeemed souls pass instantly to heaven and all unredeemed souls to hell.17 The principal variation from this among believers within the Protestant fellowship has been the notion that the souls of all men die or sleep with the body until the Day of Judgment, a notion which peeps out here and there in superstitious spots along the pages of ecclesiastical history, and which has found now and then an advocate during the last century and a half. The Council of Elvin, in Spain, forbade the lighting of tapers in churchyards, lest it should disturb the souls of the deceased buried there. At this day, in prayers and addresses at funerals, no phrases are more common than those alluding to death as a sleep, and implying that the departed one is to slumber peacefully in his grave until the resurrection. And yet, at the same time, by the same persons contrary ideas are frequently expressed. The truth is, the subject, owing to the contradictions between their creed and their reason, is left by most persons in hopeless confusion and uncertainty. They have no determinately reconciled and conscious views of their own. Rationalism sweeps away all the foregoing incongruous medley at once, denying that we know any thing about the precise localities of heaven and hell, or the destined order of events in the hidden future of separate souls; affirming that all we should dare to say is simply that the souls whether of good or of bad men, on leaving the body, go at once into a spiritual state of being, where they will live immortally, as God decrees, never returning to be reinvested with the vanished charnel houses of clay they once inhabited.

Secondly, the thought that Christ after his death descended into the under world to ransom mankind, or a part of mankind, from the doom there, is in the foundation of the apostolic theology. It was a central element in the belief of the Fathers, and of the Church for fourteen hundred years. None of the prominent Protestant reformers thought of denying it. Calvin lays great stress on it.18 Apinus and others, at Hamburg, maintained that Christ's descent was a part of his humiliation, and that in it he suffered unutterable pains for us. On the other hand, Melancthon and the Wittenbergers held that the descent was a part of Christ's triumph, since by it he won a glorious victory over the powers of hell.19 But gradually the importance and the redeeming effects attached to Christ's descent into hell were transferred to his death on the cross. Slowly the primitive dogma dwindled away, and finally sunk out of sight, through an ever encroaching disbelief in the physical conditions on which it rested and in the pictorial environments by which it was recommended. And now it is scarcely ever heard of, save when brought out from old scholastic tomes by some theological delver. Baumgarten Crusius has learnedly illustrated the important place long held by this notion, and well shown its gradual retreat into the unnoticed background.20

17 Confession of Faith of the Church of Scotland, ch. xxxii. Calvin, Institutes, lib. iii. cap. xxv.; and his Psychopannychia. Quenstedt also affirms it. Likewise the Confession of Faith of the Westminster Divines, art. xxxii., says, "Souls neither die nor sleep, but go immediately to heaven or hell."

18 Institutes, lib. ii. cap. 16, sects. 16, 19.

19 Ledderhose, Life of Melancthon, Eng. trans. by Krotel, ch. xxx.

20 Compendium der Christliche Dogmengeschichte, thl. ii. sects. 100-109.

The other particular doctrine which we said had undergone remarkable change is in regard to the number of the saved. A blessed improvement has come over the popular Christian feeling and teaching in respect to this momentous subject. The Jews excluded from salvation all but their own strict ritualists. The apostles, it is true, excluded none but the stubbornly wicked. But the majority of the Fathers virtually allowed the possibility of salvation to few indeed. Chrysostom doubted if out of the hundred thousand souls constituting the Christian population of Antioch in his day one hundred would be saved! 21 And when we read, with shuddering soul, the calculations of Cornelius a Lapide, or the celebrated sermon of Massillon on the "Small Number of the Saved," we are compelled to confess that they fairly represent the almost universal sentiment and conviction of Christendom for more than seventeen hundred years. A quarto volume published in London in 1680, by Du Moulin, called "Moral Reflections upon the Number of the Elect," affirmed that not one in a million, from Adam down to our times, shall be saved. A flaming execration blasted the whole heathen world, 22 and a metaphysical quibble doomed ninety nine of every hundred in Christian lands. Collect the whole relevant theological literature of the Christian ages, from the birth of Tertullian to the death of Jonathan Edwards, strike the average pitch of its doctrinal temper, and you will get this result: that in the field of human souls Satan is the harvester, God the gleaner; hell receives the whole vintage in its wine press of damnation, heaven obtains only a few straggling clusters plucked for salvation. The crowded wains roll staggering into the iron doorways of Satan's fire and brimstone barns; the redeemed vestiges of the world crop of men are easily borne to heaven in the arms of a few weeping angels. How different is the prevailing tone of preaching and belief now! What a cheerful ascent of views from the mournful passage of the dead over the river of oblivion fancied by the Greeks, or the excruciating passage of the river of fire painted by the Catholics, to the happy passage of the river of balm, healing every weary bruise and sorrow, promised by the Universalists! It is true, the old harsh exclusiveness is still organically imbedded in the established creeds, all of which deny the possibility of salvation beyond the little circle who vitally appropriate the vicarious atonement of Christ; but then this is, for the most part, a dead letter in the creeds. In the hearts and in the candid confessions of all but one in a thousand it is discredited and sincerely repelled as an abomination to human nature, a reflection against God, an outrage upon the substance of ethics. Remorseless bigots may gloat and exult over the thought that those who reject their dogmas shall be thrust into the roaring fire gorges of hell; but a better spirit is the spirit of the age we live in; and, doubtless, a vast majority of the men we daily meet really believe that all who try to the best of their ability, according to their light and circumstances, to do what is right, in the love of God and man, shall be saved. In that moving scene of the great dramatist where the burial of the innocent and hapless Ophelia is represented, and Lacrtes vainly seeks to win from the Church official

21 In Acta Apostolorum, homil. xxiv.

22 Gotze, Ueber die Neue Meinung von der Seligkeit der angeblich guten und redlichen Seelen unter Juden, Heiden, und Turken durch Christum, ohne dass sie an ihn glauben.

the full funeral rites of religion over her grave, the priest may stand for the false and cruel ritual spirit, the brother for the just and native sentiment of the human heart. Says the priest, "We should profane the service of the dead To sing a requiem and such rest to her As to peace parted souls." And Laertes replies, "Lay her in the earth; And from her fair and unpolluted flesh Shall violets spring. I tell thee, churlish priest, A ministering angel shall my sister be When thou liest howling."

Indeed, who that has a heart in his bosom would not be ashamed not to sympathize with the gentle hearted Burns when he expresses even to the devil himself the quaint and kindly wish, "Oh wad ye tak' a thought and mend!"

The creeds and the priests, in congenial alliance with many evil things, may strive to counteract this progressive self emancipation from cruel falsehoods and superstitions, but in vain. The terms of salvation are seen lying in the righteous will of a gracious God, not in the heartless caprice of a priesthood nor in the iron gripe of a set of dogmas. The old priestly monopoly over the way to heaven has been taken off in the knowledge of the enlightened present, and, for all who have unfettered feet to walk with, the passage to God is now across a free bridge. The ancient exactors may still sit in their toll house creeds and confessionals; but their authority is gone, and the virtuous traveller, stepping from the ground of time upon the planks that lead over into eternity, smiles as he passes scot free by their former taxing terrors.

The reign of sacramentalists and dogmatists rapidly declines. Reason, common sentiment, the liberal air, the best and strongest tendencies of the people, are against them to day, and will be more against them in every coming day. Every successive explosion of the Second Adventist fanaticism will leave less of that element behind. Its rage in America, under the auspices of Miller, in the nineteenth century, was tame and feeble when compared with the terror awakened in Europe in the fifteenth century by Stofler's prediction of an approaching comet.23 Every new discovery of the harmonies of science, and of the perfections of nature, and of the developments of the linear logic of God consistently unfolding in implicated sequences of peaceful order unperturbed by shocks of failure and epochs of remedy, will increase and popularize an intelligent faith in the original ordination and the intended permanence of the present constitution of things. Finally men will cease to be looking up to see the blue dome cleave open for the descent of angelic squadrons headed by the majestic Son of God, the angry breath of his mouth consuming the world, cease to

23 Bayle, Historical Dictionary, art. Stofler, note B.

expect salvation by any other method than that of earnest and devout truthfulness, love, good works, and pious submissiveness to God, cease to fancy that their souls, after waiting through the long sleep or separation of death, will return and take on their old bodies again. Recognizing the Divine plan for training souls in this lower and transient state for a higher and immortal state, they will endeavor, in natural piety and mutual love, while they live, to exhaust the genuine uses of the world that now is, and thus prepare themselves to enter with happiest auspices, when they die, the world prepared for them beyond these mortal shores.

These cheerful prophecies must be verified in the natural course of things. The rapid spread of the doctrine of a future life taught by the "Spirit rappers" is a remarkable revelation of the great extent to which the minds of the common people have at last become free from the long domination of the ecclesiastical dogmas on that subject. The leading representatives of the "Spiritualists" affirm, with much unanimity, the most comforting conclusions as to the condition of the departed. They exclude all wrath and favoritism from the disposition of the Deity. They have little in fact, they often have nothing whatever to say of hell. They emphatically repudiate the ordinarily taught terms of salvation, and deny the doctrine of hopeless reprobation. All death is beautiful and progressive. "Every form and thing is constantly growing lovelier and every sphere purer." The abode of each soul in the future state is determined, not by decrees or dogmas or forms of any kind, but by qualities of character, degrees of love, purity, and wisdom. There are seven ascending spheres, each more abounding than the one below it in beauties, glories, and happiness. "The first sphere is the natural; the second, the spiritual; the third, the celestial; the fourth, the supernatural; the fifth, the superspiritual; the sixth, the supercelestial; the seventh, the Infinite Vortex of Love and Wisdom."24 Whatever be thought of the pretensions of this doctrine to be a Divine revelation, whatever be thought of its various psychological, cosmological, and theological characteristics, its ethics are those of natural reason. It is wholly irreconcilable with the popular ecclesiastical system of doctrines. Its epidemic diffusion until now burdened as it is with such nauseating accompaniments of crudity and absurdity, it reckons its adherents by millions is a tremendous evidence of the looseness with which the old, cruel dogmas sit on the minds of the masses of the people, and of their eager readiness to welcome more humane views.

In science the erroneous doctrines of the Middle Age are now generally discarded. The mention of them but provokes a smile or awakens surprise. Yet, as compared with the historic annals of our race, it is but recently that the true order of the solar system has been unveiled, the weight of the air discovered, the circulation of the blood made known, the phenomena of insanity intelligently studied, the results of physiological chemistry brought to light, the symmetric domain and sway of calculable law pushed far out in every direction of nature and experience. It used to be supposed that digestion was effected by means of a mechanical power equal to many tons. Borelli asserted that the muscular force of the heart was one hundred and eighty thousand pounds. These absurd estimates only disappeared when the

24 Andrew Jackson Davis, Nature's Divine Revelations, sects. 192 203.

properties of the gastric juice were discerned. The method in which we distinguish the forms and distances of objects was not understood until Berkeley published his "New Theory of Vision." Few persons are aware of the opposition of bigotry, stolidity, and authority against which the brilliant advances of scientific discovery and mechanical invention and social improvement have been forced to contend, and in despite of which they have slowly won their way. Excommunications, dungeons, fires, sneers, polite persecution, bitter neglect, tell the story, from the time the Athenians banned Anaxagoras for calling the sun a mass of fire, to the day an English mob burned the warehouses of Arkwright because he had invented the spinning jenny. But, despite all the hostile energies of establishment, prejudice, and scorn, the earnest votaries of philosophical truth have studied and toiled with ever accumulating victories, until now a hundred sciences are ripe with emancipating fruits and perfect freedom to be taught. Railroads gird the lands with ribs of trade, telegraphs thread the airs with electric tidings of events, and steamships crease the seas with channels of foam and fire. There is no longer danger of any one being put to death, or even being excluded from the "best society," for saying that the earth moves. An eclipse cannot be regarded as the frown of God when it is regularly foretold with certainty. The measurement of the atmosphere exterminated the wiseacre proverb, "Nature abhors a vacuum," by the burlesque addition, "but only for the first thirty two feet." The madman cannot be looked on as divinely inspired, his words to be caught as oracles, or as possessed by a devil, to be chained and scourged, since Pinel's great work has brought insanity within the range of organic disease. When Franklin's kite drew electricity from the cloud to his knuckle, the superstitious theory of thunder died a natural death.

The vast progress effected in all departments of physical science during the last four centuries has not been made in any kindred degree in the prevailing theology. Most of the harsh, unreasonable tenets of the elaborately morbid and distorted mediaval theologyare still retained in the creeds of the great majority of Christendom. The causes of this difference are plain. The establishment of newly discovered truths in material science being less intimately connected with the prerogatives of the ruling classes, less clearly hostile to the permanence of their power, they have not offered so pertinacious an opposition to progress in this province: they have yielded a much larger freedom to physicists than to moralists, to discoverers of mathematical, chemical, and mechanical law than to reformers of political and religious thought. Livy tells us that, in the five hundred and seventy third year of Rome, some concealed books of Numa were found, which, on examination by the priests, being thought injurious to the established religion, were ordered to be burned.25 The charge was not that they were ungenuine, nor that their contents were false; but they were dangerous. In the second century, an imperial decree forbade the reading of the Sibylline Oracles, because they contained prophecies of Christ and doctrines of Christianity. By an act of the English Parliament, in the middle of the seventeenth century, every copy of the Racovian Catechism (an exposition of the Socinian doctrine) that could be obtained was burned in the streets.

25 Lib. xl. cap. xxix.

The Index Expurgatorius for Catholic countries is still freshly filled every year. And in Protestant countries a more subtle and a more effectual influence prevents, on the part of the majority, the candid perusal of all theological discussions which are not pitched in the orthodox key. Certain dogmas are the absorbed thought of the sects which defend them: no fresh and independent thinking is to be expected on those subjects, no matter how purely fictitious these secretions of the brain of the denomination or of some ancient leader may be, no matter how glaringly out of keeping with the intelligence and liberty which reign in other realms of faith and feeling. There is nowhere else in the world a tyranny so pervasive and despotic as that which rules in the department of theological opinion. The prevalent slothful and slavish surrender of the grand privileges and duties of individual thought, independent personal conviction and action in religious matters, is at once astonishing, pernicious, and disgraceful. The effect of entrenched tradition, priestly directors, a bigoted, overawing, and persecuting sectarianism, is nowhere else a hundredth part so powerful or so extensive.

In addition to the bitter determination by interested persons to suppress reforming investigations of the doctrines which hold their private prejudices in supremacy, and to the tremendous social prestige of old establishment, another cause has been active to keep theology stationary while science has been making such rapid conquests. Science deals with tangible quantities, theology with abstract qualities. The cultivation of the former yields visible practical results of material comfort; the cultivation of the latter yields only inward spiritual results of mental welfare. Accordingly, science has a thousand resolute votaries where theology has one unshackled disciple. At this moment, a countless multitude, furnished with complex apparatus, are ransacking every nook of nature, and plucking trophies, and the world with honoring attention reads their reports. But how few with competent preparation and equipment, with fearless consecration to truth, unhampered, with fresh free vigor, are scrutinizing the problems of theology, enthusiastically bent upon refuting errors and proving verities! And what reception do the conclusions of those few meet at the hands of the public? Surely not prompt recognition, frank criticism, and grateful acknowledgment or courteous refutation. No; but studied exclusion from notice, or sophistical evasions and insulting vituperation.

What a striking and painful contrast is afforded by the generous encouragement given to the students of science by the annual bestowment of rewards by the scientific societies such as the Cuvier Prize, the Royal Medal, the Rumford Medal and the jealous contempt and assaults visited by the sectarian authorities upon those earnest students of theology who venture to propose any innovating improvement! Suppose there were annually awarded an Aquinas Prize, a Fenelon Medal, a Calvin Medal, a Luther Medal, a Channing Medal, not to the one who should present the most ingenious defence of any peculiar tenet of one of those masters, but to him who should offer the most valuable fresh contribution to theological truth! What should we think if the French Institute offered a gold medal every year to the astronomer who presented the ablest essay in support of the Ptolemaic system, or if the Royal Society voted a diploma for the best method of casting nativities? Such is the course pursued in regard to dogmatic theology. The consequence has been that while elsewhere the ultimate standard by which to try a doctrine is, What do the most competent judges say? What does unprejudiced reason dictate? What does the great harmony of truth require? in theology it is, What do the committed priests say? How does it comport with the old traditions?

We read in the Hak ul Yakeen that the envoy of Herk, Emperor of Rum, once said to the prophet, "You summon people to a Paradise whose extent includes heaven and earth: where, then, is hell?" Mohammed replied, "When day comes, where is night?" That is to say, according to the traditionary glosses, as day and night are opposite, so Paradise is at the zenith and hell at the nadir. Yes; but if Paradise be above the heavens, and hell below the seventh earth, then how can Sirat be extended over hell for people to pass to Paradise? "We reply," say the authors of the Hak ul Yakeen, "that speculation on this subject is not necessary, nor to be regarded. Implicit faith in what the prophets have revealed must be had; and explanatory surmises, which are the occasion of Satanic doubts, must not be indulged."26 Certainly this exclusion of reason cannot always be suffered. It is fast giving way already. And it is inevitable that, when reason secures its right and bears its rightful fruits in moral subjects as it now does in physical subjects, the mediaval theology must be rejected as mediaval science has been. It is the common doctrine of the Church that Christ now sits in heaven in a human body of flesh and blood. Calvin separated the Divine nature of Christ from this human body; but Luther made the two natures inseparable and attributed ubiquity to the body in which they reside, thus asserting the omnipresence of a material human body, a bulk of a hundred and fifty pounds' weight more or less. He furiously assailed Zwingle's objection to this monstrous nonsense, as "a devil's mask and grandchild of that old witch, mistress Reason." 27 The Roman Church teaches, and her adherents devoutly believe, that the house of the Virgin Mary was conveyed on the wings of angels from Nazareth to the eastern slope of the Apennines above the Adriatic Gulf.28 The English Church, consistently interpreted, teaches that there is no salvation without baptism by priests in the line of apostolic succession. These are but ordinary specimens of teachings still humbly received by the mass of Christians. The common distrust with which the natural operations of reason are regarded in the Church, the extreme reluctance to accept the conclusions of mere reason, seem to us discreditable to the theological leaders who represent the current creeds of the approved sects. Many an influential theologian could learn invaluable lessons from the great guides in the realm of science. The folly which acute learned wise men will be guilty of the moment they turn to theological subjects, where they do not allow reason to act, is both ludicrous and melancholy. The victim of lycanthropy used to be burned alive; he is now placed under the careful treatment of skilful and humane physicians. But the heretic or infidel is still thought to be inspired by the devil, a fit subject for discipline here and hell hereafter. The light shed abroad by the rising spirit of rational investigation must gradually dispel the delusions which lurk in the vales of theology, as it already has dispelled those that formerly haunted the hills of science. The spectres which have so long terrified a childish world will successively vanish

26 Merrick, Hyat ul Kuloob, note 74.

27 Hagenbach, Dogmengeschichte, sect. 265, note 2.

28 Christian Remembrancer, April, 1855. A full and able history of the "Holy House of Loretto."

from the path of man as advancing reason, in the name of the God of truth, utters its imperial "Avaunt!"

Henry More wrote a book on the "Immortality of the Soul," printed in London in 1659, just two hundred years ago. It is full of beauty, acumen, and power. He was one of the first men of the time. Yet he seriously elaborates an argument like this: "The scum and spots that lie on the sun are as great an Argument that there is no Divinity in him as the dung of Owls and Sparrows that is found on the faces and shoulders of Idols in Temples are clear evidences that they are no true Deities."29 He also in good faith tells a story like this: "That a Woman with child, seeing a Butcher divide a Swine's head with a Cleaver, brought forth her Child with its face cloven in the upper jaw, the palate, and upper lip to the very nose."30 The progress marked by the contrast of the scientific spirit of the present time with the ravenous credulity of even two centuries back must continue and spread into every province. Some may vilify it; but in vain. Some may sophisticate against it; but in vain. Some may invoke authority and social persecution to stop it; but in vain. Some may appeal to the prejudices and fears of the timid; but in vain. Some may close their own eyes, and hold their hands before their neighbors' eyes, and attempt to shut out the light; but in vain. It will go on. It is the interest of the world that it should go on. It is the manly and the religious course to help this progress with prudence and reverence. Truth is the will of God, the way he has made things to be and to act, the way he wishes free beings to exist and to act. He has ordained the gradual discovery of truth. And despite the struggles of selfish tyranny, and the complacence of luxurious ease, and the terror of ignorant cowardice, truth will be more and more brought to universal acceptance. Some men have fancied their bodies composed of butter or of glass; but when compelled to move out into the sunlight or the crowd they did not melt nor break.31 Esquirol had a patient who did not dare to bend her thumb, lest the world should come to an end. When forced to bend it, she was surprised that the crack of doom did not follow.

The mechanico theatrical character of the popular theology is enough to reveal its origin and its fundamental falsity. The difference between its lurid and phantasmal details and the calm eternal verities in the divinely constituted order of nature is as great as the difference between those stars which one sees in consequence of a blow on the forehead and those he sees by turning his gaze to the nightly sky. To every competent thinker, the bare appreciation of such a passage as that which closes Chateaubriand's chapter on the Last Judgment, with the huge bathos of its incongruous mixture of sublime and absurd, is its sufficient refutation: "The globe trembles on its axis; the moon is covered with a bloody veil; the threatening stars hang half detached from the vault of heaven, and the agony of the world commences. Now resounds the trump of the angel. The sepulchres burst: the human race issues all at once, and fills the Valley of Jehoshaphat! The Son of Man appears in the clouds; the powers of hell ascend from the infernal depths; the goats are separated from the sheep; the wicked are plunged into the gulf; the just ascend to heaven; God returns to his repose,

29 Preface, p. 10.

30 Ibid. p. 392.

31 Bucknill and Tuke, Psychological Medicine, ch. ix.

and the reign of eternity begins."32 Nothing saves this whole scheme of doctrine from instant rejection except neglect of thought, or incompetence of thought, on the part of those who contemplate it. The peculiar dogmas of the exclusive sects are the products of mental and social disease, psychological growths in pathological moulds. The naked shapes of beautiful women floating around St. Anthony in full display of their maddening charms are interpreted by the Romanist Church as a visible work of the devil. An intelligent physician accounts for them by the laws of physiology, the morbid action of morbid nerves. There is no doubt whatever as to which of these explanations is correct. The absolute prevalence of that explanation is merely a question of time. Meanwhile, it is the part of every wise and devout man, without bigotry, without hatred for any, with strict fidelity to his own convictions, with entire tolerance and kindness for all who differ from him, sacredly to seek after verity himself and earnestly to endeavor to impart it to others. To such men forms of opinion, instead of being prisons, fetters, and barriers, will be but as tents of a night while they march through life, the burning and cloudy column of inquiry their guide, the eternal temple of truth their goal.

The actual relation, the becoming attitude, the appropriate feeling, of man towards the future state, the concealed segment of his destiny, are impressively shown in the dying scene of one of the wisest and most gifted of men, one of the fittest representatives of the modern mind. In a good old age, on a pleasant spring day, with a vast expanse of experience behind him, with an immensity of hope before him, he lay calmly expiring.

"More light!" he cried, with departing breath; and Death, solemn warder of eternity, led him, blinded, before the immemorial veil of awe and secrets. It uprolled as the flesh bandage fell from his spirit, and he walked at large, triumphant or appalled, amidst the unimagined revelations of God.

And now, recalling the varied studies we have passed through, and seeking for the conclusion or root of the matter, what shall we say? This much we will say. First, the fearless Christian, fully acquainted with the results of a criticism unsparing as the requisitions of truth and candor, can scarcely, with intelligent honesty, do more than place his hand on the beating of his heart, and fix his eye on the riven tomb of Jesus, and exclaim, "Feeling here the inspired promise of immortality, and seeing there the sign of God's authentic seal, I gratefully believe that Christ has risen, and that my soul is deathless!" Secondly, the trusting philosopher, fairly weighing the history of the world's belief in a future life, and the evidences on which it rests, can scarcely, with justifying warrant, do less than lay his hand on his body, and turn his gaze aloft, and exclaim, "Though death shatters this shell, the soul may survive, and I confidently hope to live forever." Meanwhile, the believer and the speculator, combining to form a Christian philosophy wherein doubt and faith, thought and freedom, reason and sentiment, nature and revelation, all embrace, even as the truth of things and the experience of life demand, may both adopt for their own the expression wrought for himself by a pure and fervent poet in these freighted lines of pathetic beauty:

32 Genius of Christianity, part ii. book vi. ch. vii.

"I gather up the scattered rays Of wisdom in the early days, Faint gleams and broken, like the light Of meteors in a Northern night, Betraying to the darkling earth The unseen sun which gave them birth; I listen to the sibyl's chant, The voice of priest and hierophant; I know what Indian Kreeshna saith, And what of life and what of death The demon taught to Socrates, And what, beneath his garden trees Slow pacing, with a dream like tread, The solemn thoughted Plato said; Nor Lack I tokens, great or small, Of God's clear light in each and all, While holding with more dear regard Than scroll of heathen seer and bard The starry pages, promise lit, With Christ's evangel overwrit, Thy miracle of life and death, O Holy One of Nazareth!" 33

33 Whittier, Questions of Life.

Doctrine of A Future Life in the Ancient Mysteries

THE power of the old religions was for centuries concentrated in the Mysteries. These were recondite institutions, sometimes wielded by the state, sometimes by a priesthood, sometimes by a ramifying private society. None could be admitted into them save with the permission of the hierarchs, by rites of initiation, and under solemn seals of secrecy. These mysterious institutions, charged with strange attractions, shrouded in awful wonder, were numerous, and, agreeing in some of their fundamental features, were spread nearly all over the world. The writings of the ancients abound with references to them, mostly eulogistic. The mighty part played by these veiled bodies in the life of the periods when they flourished, the pregnant hints and alluring obscurities amid which they stand in relation to the learning of modern times, have repeatedly obtained wide attention, elicited opposite opinions, provoked fierce debates, and led different inquirers to various conclusions as to their true origin, character, scope, meaning, and results.

One of the principal points in discussion by scholars concerning the Mysteries has been whether they inculcated an esoteric doctrine of philosophy, opposed to the popular religion. Some writers have maintained that in their symbols and rites was contained a pure system of monotheistic ethics and religion. Our own opinion is that in some of these institutions, at one period, higher theological views and scientific speculations were unfolded, but in others never. Still, it is extremely difficult to prove any thing on this part of the general subject: there is much that is plausible to be said on both sides of the question. Another query to be noticed in passing is in regard to the degree of exclusiveness and concealment really attached to the form of initiation. Lobeck, in his celebrated work, "Aglaophamus," borne away by a theory, assumes the extravagant position that the Eleusinian Mysteries were almost freely open to all.1 His error seems to lie in not distinguishing sufficiently between the Lesser and the Greater Mysteries, and in not separating the noisy shows of the public festal days from the initiatory and explanatory rites of personal admission within the mystic pale. The notorious

1 Lib. i. sects. 4, 5.

facts that strict inquiry was made into the character and fitness of the applicant before his admission, and that many were openly rejected, that instant death was inflicted on all who intruded unprepared within the sacred circuits, and that death was the penalty of divulging what happened during the celebrations, all are inconsistent with the notion of Lobeck, and prove that the Mysteries were hedged about with dread. Aschylus narrowly escaped being torn in pieces upon the stage by the people on suspicion that in his play he had given a hint of something in the Mysteries. He delivered himself by appealing to the Areopagus, and proving that he had never been initiated. Andocides also, a Greek orator who lived about four hundred years before Christ, was somewhat similarly accused, and only escaped by a strenuous defence of himself in an oration, still extant, entitled "Concerning the Mysteries."

A third preliminary matter is as to the moral character of the services performed by these companies. Some held that their characteristics were divinely pure, intellectual, exalting; others that in abandoned pleasures they were fouler than the Stygian pit. The Church Fathers, Clement, Irenaus, Tertullian, and the rest, influenced by a mixture of prejudice, hatred, and horror, against every thing connected with paganism, declared, in round terms, that the Mysteries were unmitigated sinks of iniquity and shame, lust, murder, and all promiscuous deviltry. Without pausing to except or qualify, or to be thoroughly informed and just, they included the ancient stern generations and their own degraded contemporaries, the vile rites of the Corinthian Aphrodite and the solemn service of Demeter, the furious revels of the Bacchanalians and the harmonious mental worship of Apollo, all in one indiscriminate charge of insane beastliness and idolatry. Their view of the Mysteries has been most circulated among the moderns by Leland's learned but bigoted work on the "Use and Necessity of a Divine Revelation." He would have us regard each one as a vortex of atheistic sensuality and crime. There should be discrimination. The facts are undoubtedly these, as we might abundantly demonstrate were it in the province of the present essay. The original Mysteries, the authoritative institutions co ordinated with the state or administered by the poets and philosophers, were pure: their purpose was to purify the lives and characters of their disciples. Their means were a complicated apparatus of sensible and symbolic revelations and instructions admirably calculated to impress the most salutary moral and religious lessons. In the first place, is it credible that the state would fling its auspices over societies whose function was to organize lawlessness and debauchery, to make a business of vice and filth? Among the laws of Solon is a regulation decreeing that the Senate shall convene in the Eleusinian temple, the day after the festival, to inquire whether every thing had been done with reverence and propriety. Secondly, if such was the character of these secrets, why was inquisition always made into the moral habits of the candidate, that he might be refused admittance if they were bad? This inquiry was severe, and the decision unrelenting. Alcibiades was rejected, as we learn from Plutarch's life of him, on account of his dissoluteness and insubordination in the city. Nero dared not attend the Eleusinian Mysteries, "because to the murder of his mother he had joined the slaughter of his paternal aunt."2 All accepted candidates were scrupulously purified in thought and body, and clad in white robes, for nine days previous to their reception. Thirdly, it is intrinsically absurd to suppose that an institution of gross immorality and cruelty could have flourished in the most polite and refined Greek nation, as the Eleusinian Mysteries did for over eighteen hundred years, ranking among its members a vast majority of both sexes, of all classes, of all ages, and constantly celebrating its rites before immense audiences of them all. Finally, a host of men like Plato, Sophocles, Cimon, Lycurgus, Cicero, were members of these bodies, partook in their transactions, and have left on record eulogies of them and of their influence. The concurrent testimony of antiquity is that in the Great Mysteries the desires were chastened, the heart purified, the mind calmed, the soul inspired, all the virtues of morality and hopes of religion taught and enforced with sublime solemnities. There is no just ground for suspecting this to be false.

But there remains something more and different to be said also. While the authorized Mysteries were what we have asserted, there did afterwards arise spurious Mysteries, in names, forms, and pretensions partially resembling the genuine ones, under the control of the most unprincipled persons, and in which unquestionably the excesses of unbelief, drunkenness, and prostitution held riot. These depraved societies were foreign grafts from the sensual pantheism ever nourished in the voluptuous climes of the remote East. They established themselves late in Greece, but were developed at Rome in such unbridled enormities as compelled the Senate to suppress them. Livy gives a detailed and vivid account of the whole affair in his history.3 But the gladiators, scoundrels, rakes, bawds, who swarmed in these stews of rotting Rome, are hardly to be confounded with the noble men and matrons of the earlier time who openly joined in the pure Mysteries with the approving example of the holiest bards, the gravest statesmen, and the profoundest sages, men like Pindar, Pericles, and Pythagoras. Ample facilities are afforded in the numerous works to which we shall refer for unmasking the different organizations that travelled over the earth in the guise of the Mysteries, and of seeing what