網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Augustine, whose influence was very great in Africa, procured the condemnation of his adversary's opinions by a council held A. D. 412, at Carthage. But notwithstanding this, they prevailed; and it was a long time, and after many conflicting decisions of hostile councils, before the doctrines of Augustine were generally received in Western Europe, while in the Greek Church, they never made much progress.

As we descend into the dark ages, we find Augustine erected into an oracle in the Western Church, and theologians agreeing that infants are properly chargeable with Adam's sin, and liable to damnation on that account.

Luther was born at Eisleben in 1483, and was educated at Eisenach and Erfurt. In 1505, he entered the Augustine order, and in 1507 was consecrated priest. He learned these doctrines of Augustine, while he was yet in the bosom of the Catholic Church and he retained them after he left it. The doctrines that now make up the Calvinistic system, were essentially Catholic doctrines, elaborated and settled in that Church. Instead of being the doctrines of the Reformation, they are precisely the doctrines in which there was no reform. It was not to have been expected that the Reformers should reject all of the corruptions of the Church in which they were born, but it is singular that those particular doctrines which Luther, before he ever dreamed of reformation, received from his Augustine book and teachers in his monastry at Erfurt, should be precisely those dignified with the appellation of "doctrines of the Reformation.” The schoolmen and monks of the dark ages first taught them to Luther and Calvin, and what they had received from the Catholic church, they transmitted to their Protestant followers.

We have thus endeavored to give a very brief view of the beginning and progress of the doctrine of original sin. It was accompanied in its growth by the other doctrines of Calvinism. Centuries elapsed before they obtained foothold in the church, and it is to be expected that centuries will elapse before they are rooted out. But a brighter day is dawning. The Bible is more and more taking the place of creeds, and the speculations of the schoolmen, as a standard of Faith; and the abuses and corruptions of the Romish Church—beginning in errors like a cloud no bigger than a man's hand, but spreading through ages till they overshadowed Christendomin the progress of the ages are melting away before the rising Truth.

E. P.

Art. XI.-TRINITARIAN PROOF TEXTS.

Matt. XXVIII. 19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, bap

tizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

This text is one of the very small number most frequently addicted, to prove the doctrine of the Trinity. Two or three sentences will show that it has nothing to do with the subject.

1. No equality is asserted, between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in this text. Its whole force in proving the doctrine of the Trinity is derived from the unauthorized assumptions that this assertion of equality is made. The text says nothing of superiority, equality, or inferiority on the part of either.

2. No equality is implied from the fact, that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are mentioned together;-any more than equality is implied, when God, and angels, and men, are spoken of together in the same verse.

3. No equality is irnplied in the fact, that the new convert was to be baptized into a belief of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If worship does not imply equality in those worshipped, far less does baptism, a less sacred rite, imply it. We

in 1 Chron. 29, 20: “And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord and the King." Yet David had no equality with Jehovah:-nor does the text on which we comment, any more show equality between God and Christ. It has nothing to do with the subject. We must look to other passages to ascertain the relation in which Christ stands to the Father. And this relation he explains in John xiv. 28: "If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.These are the words of our Redeemer. Is the Unitarian to be condemned for believing his Saviour's words?

ART. XII.-SOULS AND BODIES.

It is said of Caspar Hauser, that after his mind began to be developed, not only the lines and bearings, but also the features of his face were changed. If this be true, it is a strong fact in favor of that correspondence between mind and body, which Lavater taught, and every one acts upon. For, though we talk of the expression of the face as something independent of the features, a moment's thought will show

us it is not so; take from a face a Roman nose, and put in its place a small and flat one, and the expression of the whole face is changed; or let the thick lips of the African displace the delicate mouth of the white woman, and who would think her expression the same? It is true that there is an acquired as well as a natural expression, but it does not annul that of nature,

And why should we not believe in physiognomy? Is it said the soul cannot depend on the features, the form, and the skin; —true, but may not feature, form, and all else depend upon the soul? be the exponent of the soul? What is this mysterious power of life? Is it something wholly distinct from the conscious mind? How then does the mind affect the health? How does imagination raise up the sick, and pull down the strong? And is it incredible that the mind should act unconsciously? What are all the movements of habit but unconscious actings of the mind? What is the business of childhood but to acquire this power of unconscious action? We, that are grown, move our muscles and know it not, but the little child has to attend to every motion, and feel its way from limb to limb, from finger to finger, from toe to toe. You may mark it first learning to see; bringing its eyes to a focus; and when one of them wanders away from the true line, going after it, and dragging it into the range again. To the conscious soul, this new body into which it is put, is a new country, and it has to discover its many parts, and send out colonies to people them. But in after life, we do unconsciously what our whole might of consciousness was once unequal to.

In sleep, also, the mind handles the body unconsciously,

And if by habit we may learn to act and know it not, surely our Maker may have given us this power, for certain purposes, originally. As moral beings we act consciously, and so too as physico-moral beings, having this frame to care for; but as mere physical beings, having no reference to moral laws or motives, we act unknowingly; and for this cause, that our discipline, and our growth is to be moral, not organic.

It is further to be noticed that the heart moves unconsciously through the power of parts of that same nervous system through which the mind acts upon the organs of conscious and voluntary motion; and also that when you act upon the mind by fear, hope, or shame, the mind acts upon the heart and the whole frame of life, sending the blood into the face, or holding it in the fountain; stopping or hastening secretions; and giving increased existence, or driving us almost to the gates of death.

Have we not reason then to think that the mysterious might of life is the same with the more mysterious might of thought and will? Have we not cause to believe that the soul enters into, and builds up, and sustains this frame of ours? The infant sleeps, for its being is busy spreading, and strengthening, and fitting up its scaffolding, the body: when this is finished, then does the intellect wax strong; and with it, as an instrument, the man proceeds to gather wisdom, and grow in excellence, and this goes forward until he is, or should be, prepared to go elsewhere, and then the soul gradually withdraws from laboring upon its dwelling-place, and the limbs wither, and the blood flows feebly; and by and by it puts of this crysalis-cover which it has woven to shield and support its

growing wings, and passes away.

And should it be said, that as the body decays, the mind decays also,—we answer, the intellect, which is an instrument, has done its work in this life and ceases to act, or acts feebly; it rests, as in sleep; but we have no more reason to think it lost, than we have each night we slumber; but though the intellect slumbers, the great result of life, the character, does not slumber; the bright fancy, and creative imagination, and analizing reason, may be lost sight of,—the weak old man may seem devoid of them; but love will yet live within him, faith yet cheer him, and hope yet point to heaven: the aged are garrulous and lose their memory, but does the sense of justice depart also, or benevolence cease to sway them? Oh no! let us not then deem that the soul even seems to decay with the body, and if the intellect do cease to act, let us feel that it is not dead, but sleepeth.”

Is it not rational then, we ask once more, to believe that the same principle which thinks, and acts consciously, acts also unconsciously, in the many processes of life;-building up,

the platform upon which the conscious soul may labor, and when that labor should be finished, ceasing to build and restore, letting the platform fall

, and if no spiritual building has been raised within, no spiritual foothold taken,- letting the soul fall with it?

J. H. P.

LYRICAL STANZAS ON THE MARRIAGE OF A FRIEND.

BY J. F.

CLARKE

Beautiful Dream!
Dost thou once more visit me in my holy state?
In a wicked and cunning world, left desolate,

To work and to plan, to toil
With cold heart, and anxious brow
And my once bright spirit to soil,

And my faithful mind to bow,
In the crushing press, in the noisy, dashing stream,
Till all self-feeling is gone, and withered my dear hopes seem.

But-in the still of night,
Like the rushing of many doves,
With a glancing of colored light-

Come the early buried loves,
Over whose graves, in despair, my soul has shed bilter tears.

But Death is conquered-the tomb
Retains not its victims; they rise :
As living, as glowing, they come

As once to my earthly eyes.
They come to soothe my heart-to banish its doubts and fears.

I stood in the home of my youth.
--Much had I seen and done.
In the world I had proved the truth
Of my faith, and by struggle had won

A foothold firm on the earth,
A working place among men,

And now had returned again,
With a consciousness of strength, and knowledge of tosted worth.

“My own--my own!
The Being who formed our hearts,

And sent us forth alone,
To be tried by pain and grief,
Till every hope departs;
He is a faithful Creator;

He has sent us relief
And given a new Spring to the Autumn and Winter of nature.”

“And thou art my bride at last!

Thou hast found comfort in me!
Hard was thy trial, but now 'tis past,
And thou from passion and fancy art free.

« 上一頁繼續 »