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duties, and that help will not be wanting on this side the Atlantic to encourage this good work ?—I
dear sir, yours faithfully,
JOSEPH John THORNTON. 28 HARTWOOD ROAD, SOUTHPORT.
THE PILLOW OF STONES. DIVINE ALLEGORIES IN THEIR SPIRITUAL MEAN
By the Rev. FRANCIS SEWALL. Philadelphia (U.S.): Lippincott and Co. London : 16 Southampton Street, Covent Garden. 1876. This volume takes its title from that of the first sermon, which is on the stones that Jacob took and made pillows in Haran, while resting on which he saw in his dream the mystic ladder that reached from earth to heaven. These twelve sermons are so beautifully illustrative of the Divinity and Spirituality of the Word, and describe so accurately the nature and experience of the Christian life, that we could not help comparing them, as human things with Divine, to the twelve stones taken out of the Jordan, and set up in Gilgal, to remind the Children of Israel of the passage of their fathers through the swollen stream into the Promised Land. We feel in reading them that they are the productions of a mind that not merely reflects the light of knowledge, but gives out the light of life.
The sense of the real, as distinguished from the ideal, in all that the author says, is so strong, that we seem to desire only to be where he is, and to see and feel as he does. And if we can in any good measure realize this, his sermons will be to us memorials of the Lord's mercy and goodness, in giving a Revelation so perceptibly rich in heavenly wisdom, and of his power in leading us, by following its teaching, as Israel was led by following the ark of the testimony, through the otherwise impassable flood into a state of spiritual rest. Sermons of this character are not only instructive but edifying. No one can read them without feeling his reverence for the Word increased, and having some of its truths more deeply impressed on his mind and heart.
We may here notice another book—we can hardly call it another workof the same author, unless it be the work of wise selection and arrangement. “ Daily Bread” is its title; and it consists entirely of passages of Scripture
, intended for daily reading. These include the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount; there are a morning and an evening psalm, and lessons for three daily meals. The whole is prefaced by the appropriate words—“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” We may add that those books are beautifully printed on fine paper,
and being in large type, are easy as well as pleasant reading.
AMIABILITY (Speirs) is by the late Rev. 0. P. Hiller, and contains not only general instruction, but some particular rules, by attending to which the temper may be rendered as gentle and amiable as that of the author himself.
HAND AND HEART, (Barrow, London,) is an illustrated penny weekly, commencing with the present year. It is a marvel of cheapness, consider
ing the quantity and quality of matter, the excellence of the illustrations, the fineness of the paper, and the clearness of the typography—which is Spottiswoode's. We sincerely wish it success.
RELIGION AND SCIENCE : THEIR RELATIONS TO EACH OTHER AT THE PRESENT
Day. By STANLEY B. JOBSON, Rector of Sandon, in Essex, and late Fellow
of Queen's College, Cambridge. London: Longmans, Green, & Co. 1875. The avowed object of this work is the reconciliation of religion and science. With this end in view, the author endeavours to take the position and exercise the function of a judge rather than of an advocate. He tries impartially to weigh the evidences and arguments for and against revealed religion, and hopes by this means to obtain the consent of candid scientific naturalists to his conclusions. There can be no doubt of religion and science being found to harmonise if men will only judge justly, and we give the author credit for an intelligent and able attempt to help his readers, so far as they require help, to do so. True, there is something else needed to produce conviction besides evidence and argument. Belief in God will never be produced by pure science or mere reason. An affirmative state of mind is required before affirmative arguments or evidences will produce conviction. A negative state will always find the means of negation both in reason and in science, nay, in Revelation itself. The more perfect science is the more will it furnish evidence on either side. Scientific naturalists of the present day find more evidences against the world being the work of a perfect Intelligence than the scientists of former times. Are, then, science and reason of no avail in deciding the question of nature having a Divine origin? The confirmed naturalist may remain unmoved by anything that can be said on the affirmative side. But there are minds that occupy the border-land of scepticism, which lies between positive affirmation and positive negation, to whom evidence and arguments may be highly useful. Such minds, to be found chiefly among young men, may read this book with advantage.
The work consists of three essays. These are entitled— The Belief in God; The Miraculous Evidence of Christianity ; The Relation of the Gospels to the Moral Faculties in Man. In the first essay the author examines the design argument and the à priori argument. Those who have employed these two methods of proving the existence of a Divine Being have themselves first obtained their idea from the Scriptures. Arguments which have served to strengthen belief in themselves they employ to create belief in others. How far do these arguments confirm the doctrine of Revelation? The author makes the confession that modern science has considerably weakened the argument from design, by discovering imperfections in nature that were not previously known. A writer in a recent number of the Westminster Review
pointed out about a dozen faults in the structure of the eye, which a perfect Being making a perfect instrument would never have committed. This is not mentioned in the present work, but it is an example of the arguments which science is supposed to furnish against the idea of the world having been created by an infinitely intelligent Being. Another argument, not against the intelligence but against the goodness of the Creator, supposing one, is the existence of so much evil and suffering in the world. Animals are constructed so as to tear and devour others more gentle and defenceless than themselves. In a world formed by a perfect Being everything should be perfect. These may be regarded as the sum of the objections urged by the scientific naturalist.
Absolute perfection is only to be found in the Creator. Even the highest created intelligences are but images of Him who made and sustains them. And as creation consists of degrees, continuous and discrete, matter, which is the last and grossest, is the least perfect. Earths are the ends and terminations of the atmospheres, whose heat has ended in cold, their light in darkness, and their activity in inertness ; but still they have brought with them, by continuation from the substances of the spiritual sun, that which was there from the Divine, which was a sphere surrounding God-Man or the Lord. From this sphere, by continuation from the Sun, proceeded, by means of the atmospheres, the substances and matters
of which the earth consists.” If nature exhibits anything that can be called an imperfection, it is only because there are degrees of perfection in creation, considered as descending from God by discrete degrees, decreasing in perfection as they descend, till they terminate in dead and inert matter. But, even if we were to admit all that scientific naturalists say about the imperfections in nature, this cannot dispose of the design argument. Any one who can fail to see in creation evidences of design must be unwilling to recognise in the works of God what he would not refuse to admit in the works of men. The Darwinian theory, of which the author gives a qualified approval, throws back, if it does not ignore, the idea of design. But whatever theories men may form respecting the conditions of progress, there should be no doubt as to the First and the final cause of creation. Unless we believe in the eternity of matter, and the operation of chance or the survival of the strongest, we cannot reasonably refuse to admit that the world owes its origin and progress to an intelligent Being. The highest human intelligence can neither create substance nor impart life. Ånd what is utterly beyond the power of man may justly be ascribed to a Being above and independent of him. Whatever exists in creation owes its origin and life to this Being. Protoplasm and development are nothing without Him. A life and a mind are required to animate and direct them.
But no sufficient idea of creation can be obtained without taking man as well as God into account. Man is the final cause of creation, and all created things have relation to him. The world was created for man, and man for God. Nature does not prove this, but nature bears testimony to it when it is known, as it only can be known from Revelation. The existence of evil, which forms so strong an objection in the mind of the naturalist against the doctrine of a wise and good Creator, is sufficiently accounted for by the fact of His creating man as the most perfect of His works. And whether this result is obtained by an independent creation or by a process of development, it amounts to the same.
For if man was the end, all the preceding acts of creation or steps of development were but the steps by which creative power wrought out the final purpose of infinite good
If man was the Divine idea to be realized in creation, that idea must be in all that is created. Man is thus in all creation, as the end is in all the means. All the previous and lower parts of creation shadowed forth man's nature. Especially is this the case in animated nature, which approaches nearest to the nature of man. Animals, which are but forms of natural affection, are emblems of the natural affections of man. And indeed the animal nature of man is a combination of the various affections that are severally embodied in the animal creation—the gentle and the fierce. But it is assumed and argued that, if the Creator were omnipotent and benevolent, He would have created all animals, and man as well, so that evil and pain could not have existed. But the very perfection of man as a created being involved the possibility of evil, because it included the power of choosing between good and evil, that is, between loving and serving God, and loving and serving himself
. Evil did not and does consist in loving and serving himself, but in making himself the first object of his regard. Nor did the Creator require this honour for His own sake. Human happiness depended, as it still depends, on the subordination of the human to the Divine will, and that subordination must be voluntary. But what depends upon the human will, which would not be will if it were not free to choose, must be dependent on human freedom. Man could not exist as a rational and accountable, nor even as an immortal being without this freedom. This freedom has been used by man against himself as well as against God. But there can be no doubt that the Divine purpose in creation has not been frustrated, and Redemption has been added to creation to repair the injury which man had done to himself. And to this we look as the Divine remedy for the sins and sorrows of the world.
(To be continued.)
SWEDENBORG'S PSYCHOLOGY.-In our precise nature of Swedenborg's risions last number we noticed some of the was,” continues the writer, “it is not reviews of Mr. Gorman's work on this necessary here to inquire, although they subject. The Scotsman of January 18th present an interesting psychological procontains a notice of this work, from blem. The value of his speculations is which we make the following extracts: but little affected by the consideration -"Swedenborg has been greatly mis- of their origin; and the reader will easily understood and misrepresented, but the discover that, notwithstanding the tranfact that men of the highest intellect, scendental nature of the source from such as Emerson, in our own day have which they purport to be derived, Sweregarded him, not in the light of a denborg's conclusions are, as has been dreamy enthusiast, much less as a pointed out by Mr. Gorman, “essentially fanatic, an impostor, or a madman, but in accord with the highest and most as one gifted with the rarest insight clearly established results of recent into regions into which sober philosophy scientific investigations. To prove that has never been able to penetrate, shows this is so is the principal aim of the that there is in the writings of the large body of notes which has been apSwedish sage a charm that will keep pended to this short treatise—a treatise them from perishing, even in an age so admirably arranged and so perspicu. whose philosophical processes are widely ous in style, that no commentary is different from those which he employed. needed to make it intelligible to those
This treatise is well fitted to who have even an elementary knowledge serve as an introduction to the more of psychological science. The publicaabstruse and sublime speculations of tion of this volume may be accepted as Swedenborg, and is well worthy of the an omen that the philosophical and attention of all who are interested—as theological works of one of the highest who is not ?--in the mysterious action and deepest thinkers of modern times are of mind upon matter. The scientific about to be rescued from the neglect to value of this work will not be rated which they have hitherto been doomed." very highly by those who hold that psychology can be approached only by the Angels' Wings. An interesting gate of physiology; but to the multitude article on this subject appears in the of readers who hold the existence of God Argonaut of March last from the pen of to be a primary and undoubted truth, J. W. Hoole, B.A. It opens with the and who believe that soul and body, question, "Who ever heard of an angel though intimately connected together, without wings?" and proceeds to show are yet distinct substances, the Swedish the universal prevalence of this impresphilosopher's explanation of the influ- sion. It is traced in proverbs, painting, ence of the one upon the other will ap- and poetry. Of its appearance in poetry pear neither improbable nor absurd, but many examples are given. But here the on the contrary perfectly consistent both recognition of the opinion ends. From with reason and revelation.'
this point the writer proceeds :—“And The writer says that Mr. Gorman has yet this ornithomorphism, if any one done good service in translating and may use such a word, is a physiological publishing this tractate, under the title absurdity. The painters generally, in of Christian Psychology, and in vindi. addition to a stout pair of arms and cating the character of one of the most legs, attach the wings behind the Platonic of modern philosophers. Few, shoulders, after the manner of Milton's however, he thinks, will agree with Mr. description Gorman that Swedenborg arrived at the
“The pair that clad his shoulders broad." results here présented by following strictly “the rules of a rigid inductive But it seems in the present day almost method," and he instances in this con- needless to remark that such wings nection the Author's open intercourse could never enable any one to fly. The with the spiritual world. “What the wing of a bird is, strictly speaking,
analogous to the forearm of the mammal, such an air of verisimilitude to what and has its humerus, and even rudimen- they relate, and that this peculiarity tary hand. In the animal economy, should be common
to historians so function and structure are so correlated, different from one another as are the that one organ of the body cannot be authors of Genesis and the Acts of the altered without involving a correspond- Apostles.” ing modification of every part. The addition of a pair of wings would not CHRISTIAN UNION. — The question of make a man into a bird. To support union between the Anglican and Greek himself in the air, he would have to pro. Churches was the subject of a lengthened duce force proportionate to his weight. discussion in the Upper House of Con; Now, if we look at a photograph of vocation. The subject was introduced Kaulbach's "Guardian Angel carrying by the Bishop of Winchester in a resolua child to Paradise,' we cannot fail to tion having relation to the resolutions observe that the wings are mere appen- adopted at the Conference promoted by dages, without any muscles to work them, Dr. Döllinger, which met at Bonn. whereas the pectoral muscle of a bird The discussion which followed was must be one-sixth of its total weight. remarkable for the address of the PreAll this is very prosaic, and would not sident, the Archbishop of Canterbury, be noticed in an unscientific age, but it from which we give
a brief exseems to show that these winged angels tract :-"I have only one difficulty,” are purely ideal beings, and that wing said the Archbishop, “ about all these has simply a symbolic value; a symbol, discussions, but it is a somewhat grave however, so beautiful and so appropriate, one. It is this—that, desiring most that we find it, as a matter of fact, uni. heartily that there should be union, versal.
and looking upon the divisions which “But to this general unanimity,” separate Christians as a great stumbling. continues the writer, “there is one re- block in the way of the progress of our markable exception. Both in the Old Heavenly Master's kingdom, I naturally and New Testaments the visits of many feel more with regard to those divisions angelic personages are recorded in the which separate us from those with whom most natural manner, with evident good we are by nationality and by language, faith on the part of the writers. The and by the country in which we live, Incarnation, Resurrection, and Ascen- connected, than with regard to those sion, for instance, are all announced by divisions which separate us from persons angels. But neither in the visit of who are at a very great distance Iocally. Gabriel to Mary, nor at the tomb of I cannot help thinking that the very Christ, where they are simply spoken of greatest desire in the heart of every as men by St. Luke, who uses the same Englishman should be, that those who expression of the two that appeared after speak the English language and believe the Ascension as two angels by St. in the same Gospel should, if possible, John, and a young man by St. Mark; be united in their efforts to promote nor in the case of the angel that con- their Redeemer's kingdom. I think that ducted Peter out of prison, nor in any if I am to begin, I should prefer begin. of the less detailed angelic manifestations, ning with union with those who are imis there the slightest allusion to wings.” mediately about our own doors. I am
These remarks the author further aware that the difficulties of taking out. shows apply to the angelic appearances ward steps towards such union are very narrated in the Old Testament, and he great indeed, and that not the least of draws from these facts the following per- those difficulties are the many important tinent conclusion : “Why have they political questions separating us from (the inspired writers) never imagined those with whom we are anxious to act angels as winged? Is not the only ex- in harmony among our own countrymen, planation of the phenomenon that they and that year by year the difficulties were simply relating without embellish- which stand in the way of the reunion ment events which literally took place? of the Nonconformist bodies with the It is very remarkable, at any rate, sap- Church of England, instead of disappearposing they were imaginary or invented, ing, seem to be magnified. I think that they have avoided this seemingly this is not so much our fault as it is the irresistible tendency, and thereby given fault of inevitable circumstances, which