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then nothing. Is that a faithful picture of what we experience when we feel ourselves change? Phenomena change, but we attribute them always to the same individual; there are variations in the consciousness of this permanent I, overturnings, revolutions, a thousand accidents, but the being continues and recovers itself always after faintings, excitements, and troubles of every kind to which it is a prey.

And, moreover, these organic changes, though working more slowly, none the less produce in the end the same effects. After some years, a new I would have succeeded the preceding. Let us suppose the renewal to occur four times, corresponding to the four ages of life: there will then be an infant I, a youthful I, a mature I, an aged I! But these are four different men, who somehow are heirs one of another. How are they united to form one, and one possessing himself, and having a consciousness and memory of his identity? Still that will be only an apparent identity, like that of a public function filled successively by men following the same routine as their predecessors, but at bottom different from them. I grow weary of following out frivolous and subtile consequences which are repug. nant to good sense.

After this exposition and discussion of the new German doctrines, it only remains to ask what scientific cause can explain this relapse to materialism already so striking in Germany, and whose advance is so startling among ourselves. Shall we say with Dr. Büchner that the cause is a return to experience, and the observation of facts, in a word, to the true scientific method ?

No, doubtless, for immediate experiment pronounces nothing upon materialism ; it is not for it to sound first principles ; and to affirm materialism, we must employ reasoning, hypothesis, and induction at least quite as much as in the contrary theory. No, what explains materialism is a tendency natural to the human soul, and one that to-day is very potent over men's minds: the tendency to unity. We wish to explain everything by a single law, a single phenomenon, a single

This is no doubt a useful and necessary tendency, without which there would be no science; but of how many errors has it not been the cause! How many imaginary analogies, how many capital omissions, how many chimerical creations, has a love of vain simplicity produced in philosophy! Who can deny without any doubt that unity is at the very bottom of things, at the beginning and at the end? Who can deny that the same harmony governs the visible and the invisible world, bodies and minds? But who tells us that the harmonies, the analogies, which unite the two worlds, belong to those which we can imagine? Upon what do we found to force nature to nothing but an eternal repetition of herself, and as Diderot says, the same phenomenon indefinitely diversified ? Illusion and pride! Things have greater deeps than onr. minds possess. Doubtless matter and mind must have a common cause in the thought of God; there we should seek their ultimate unity, but what eye has penetrated them? Who can think that he has been enabled to explain this common origin of every created thing? Who could do this, save He who is the cause of all? But especially what weakness and what ignorance to limit the real existence of things to those fugitive appearances which our senses grasp, to make our imagination the measure of all things, and to adore, like the new materialists, not even the atom which had, at least, some appearance of solidity, but an inexpressible somewhat that has no name in any tongue, and which we might call infinite dust !




And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his

nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.-GENESIS ii, 7.

No objection need be taken to this rendering in respect to verbal accuracy. Any attempt at a stricter conformity to the original would only have given it a stiff and pedantic appearance, without yielding any clearer understanding of the general idea. Of this general idea we may say that while it is the same, essentially, for all minds, the conception accompanying it may vary indefinitely, in manner and extent, for different inteHigences. Perhaps it is not too much to say that since it was first put upon record, hardly any two readers have had precisely the same conceptual image of the great fact

to man,


announced, and yet all have received the same truth, and the truth, too, which the divine Author of the passage intended it should convey. This distinction between the idea and the conception, between the truth and the image under which it is conveyed, is not a vain one. It is an essential distinction we must be ever ready to make in all efforts to interpret the language of men to each other, much more the language of God

In most cases there may be no urgent need for making it. No question is affected by it. We take the thought, each of us, in our own way; and it is the same thought, we say again, although the way of conceiving be very different for different minds.

“Our Father who art in heaven !!Among the millions who have repeated these words how varying the imagery accompanying the great idea. It is very possible for men to say the pater noster without having anything in the mind at all. There may have been neither idea nor conception. To others there may have been presented the image of a vast and lofty abode in the sky immediately above us. The word heavens (the plural, it should be remembered, in Hebrew, and so transferred to the New Testament Greek) may have had to different minds immensely varying degrees of number and of altitude. With others, all such conceptions have vanished. It is simply the thought of something above us. In another mental stage this too departs. The mind has become too scientific to think of God or his divine abode as any more in the one direction than in the other; or if it hold to some locality as matter of fact, the conception of it is severed as much as possible from any relative images of up and down that come from the constantly changing position of our own place in the universe. “He is the Father of lights, to whom there is no parallax," (Trapaaaayn.) And yet Newton and the newly-converted Australian may each have uttered the words of this invocation with the same simple reverence of feeling and idea. They have each had in their souls the same two truths, that suggested by the words “our Father," and the fact expressed by the phrase “in the heavens." The latter words are not surplusage, notwithstanding this great diversity of conception attending them. It is a divine paternity, and that paternity unearthly, reigning throughout all that is comprehended or

can be comprehended, in the word heavens, according to the most limited or the most extensive, the most nearly superterrene, or the most widely cosmical conception, with which the mind's knowledge or the mind's thinking can clothe it.

We have dwelt upon this illustration in the start, because if fairly presented and received by the reader it will dispense with the necessity of much argument that might otherwise be needed. To fortify it, however, take another, Philippians ii, 10: " That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, or upon the earth, or under the earth.” There has been much discussion here as to what is meant by the word katazoóvioi. Some would prove from it the apostle's belief in antipodes. Others interpret it of a supposed subterranean world. What was the exact conception present to the apostle, or common to the imagination of the age, we may not precisely know, nor would we be limited by it if we did. The conception is in fact a part of the language. It is representative of the thought or truth, even as it is itself represented by the bare words. The idea, to which the words and the image raised by them in the mind are both subservient, is that of universality—the same, as a truth, for all minds, however diversely imaged by the sense. The apostle might have used general terms for this. But he wished to carry vividness and emotion along with the thought, and by such use of conceptual terms there is gained far more in respect to strength than is lost in logical correctness. “All intelligent beings in the universe—whatever may be our attending conception or the science whence such conception arises—this is what is meant, although such conception may be very imperfect; it ever must be very iinperfect; in its best state it is a very partial thing, ever defective, ever small in comparison with that of some science yet to come. We cannot think without images any more than we can discourse without words conveying to others, not our thought directly, but the image of our thought. Jesus shall be the universal sovereign; he shall be Lord of all. We may express this abstractly or in general terms; but if we wish power to accompany it we make a picture. This picture may be general; all above, around, beneath us. give it more locality and precision, "all in heaven, and on the earth, and below the earth;" the latter term denoting extent

Or we may

unbounded in one direction, even as the first expresses what is limitless in another.

“He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” What is meant here by the words frame and dust? The question, it may be said, is out of place; this is poetical language, , and requires a peculiar style of interpretation. It is, however, not so easy to fix the bounds of what is called poetry in the Scriptures. Everything in the divine book is so high, so earnest, so full of life and emotion, that the ordinary critical and rhetorical divisions cannot be carried out. Figures are not used in the Bible for embellishment; the plainest narrative carries with it something more than bare fact, or truth of thought and conception. One department of style runs into another, and this in every section of the superhuman volume. Strong phenomenal language, or word-painting as we may call it, is everywhere; and oftentimes we cannot distinguish between it and the predominantly poetical. This latter character would be ascribed to the thirty-eighth chapter of Job, while the creative account would be called plain history or narration. But let the reader compare the two by taking them in immediate connection, and he must be struck by the resemblance both in thought and imagery. In the one, the waters are gathered together, and the dry land appears; in the other the sea has bars and doors; limits are assigned to it which it must not pass. In the one, “darkness rests upon the formless abyss” out of which earth and seas are born. In the other, ocean" breaks forth as if it issued from the womb;" a prominence is given to the image of birth; and yet this same conception is presented in the Hebrew of Genesis. It is contained in the verb

21", as used repeatedly in the creative account. The earth brings forth. It is a coming forth from something which precedes it, as a ground, in the order of process. There is the same conception in the Hebrew 61731n, generationes, nature, where it is used of “the generations of the heavens and the earth.” So again in Job, the darkness is earth's swaddling band; in the plain Mosaic narrative, as some would call it, there is the same imagery, though it is not made predominant, as in the other, by that express presentation of the figure which brings upon language the name of the poetical. There is, however, in Genesis, an image connected with the idea of birth, exceeding in

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