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"the One and the All." In reading history, as self-educating students, we think a different method should be employed. It would be wise to mark down in one's own mind a decided and definite course; to read in accordance with this pre-arranged plan, and ever, as we read, keeping certain great lines of thought before us for meditation and illustration. A few rules for reading history we might classify thus, viz.:
1st. Have a definite course determined upon and arranged for a special end. 2nd. Read in accordance with this plan the best histories, in chronological order. 3rd. Prior to beginning a new history, fix in your mind the precise relations which should obtain between the history finished and that about to be commenced.
4th. As general topics of meditation, accept, among others worthy of notice, the following, viz.,—(a) The logic of events; (b) The means employed to increase the happiness of men, and their effects; (c) The obstacles to public welfare, how they arose, and how they were overcome; (d) The effects of institutions, civil and religious; (e) The progress of education and freedom, and their influence on human happiness; (f) The dependence of human progress for its primal impulses to great and good men and women; (g) The home and foreign policy of nations; (h) The origin of wars, sciences, and arts-the destructive and constructive energies of men.
"The shaping spirit. of imagination" is no less needful than the retentive powers memory. It collects all the analogous forms which memory gains and retains, combines their several perfections, and creates a new form of loveliness or symmetrical truth from them all. Fact may contradict hope, and experience belie the closely compacted syllogisms of precalculation; for there are disturbing forces always a-working among events whose influences transcend the arithmetic of reason; but here, in the domains of imagination, man is the lawgiver, and he can accept or reject any number of the elements of experience according to his will. Imagination, in so far as it is the operant power of which poesy is the effect, is called Taste when it fulfils with precision the laws of experience, which it accepts as its governing principles. There is nothing wild, nothing lawless, in the works of a true poet. The inexorable logic of causation must be undeviatingly obeyed. The poet has only this power, viz., to accept such objects and events as he pleases, but beyond the laws which govern these he must not trespass.
"Grace makes the whole look elegant and gay,
In reading the products of Imagination-the poem, the play, or the novel-we should remark how finely the common experiences of men are made beautiful and grand, how this is managed in perfect harmony with the laws of the possible in experience, how nicely the analogies of the visible and the invisible are blended into one expressive thought—
"That leads to truth through pleasure's flowery way."
All that is bombastic, incongruous, unsymmetrical, sins against the laws of Taste, and is evidence of an illogical imagination-one, that is, which cannot image forth his thought in beauty of phrase and truthfulness to fact. To read poetry appreciatively one must know the laws of Taste, and feel as well as know when they are obeyed.
Philosophy is the product of reason, and is the perfected fruit of which fact is the seed
and poesy the flower; to it all nature is a problem whose solution must be found. Every fact is a puzzle, which seems to come with a message from Deity, saying, in the words of Hamlet:-"You would pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass; and there is much music, excellent voice in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak." And man wrestles with each fact as Jacob did with the angel, and will not let it go until it bless him. And it does bless him, and he finds that fact a gate to heaven. He sees not-and he cannot see-the glorious Hierarch of the universe, but he beholds the city in which he dwells and the messengers of his pleasure. Philosophy translates fact into thought, and reads the lettered page of Nature like a book of lessons written by his Creator for our learning. To read philosophy, using the word for the present to include all science, mental or material, we must observe the following points, viz.:
1st. Fix in the mind a notion of the great topics which philosophy should discuss, and if possible solve.
2nd. Acquire a knowledge of the facts to be explained, and endeavour to form some notion of what would seem an adequate explanation.
3rd. Read in chronological order the history of the development of human thought upon these topics; strive to comprehend the logical sequence of the several solutions therein presented; and endeavour to realize the amount of advancement made in the process of passing from thought to thought.
4th. Observe the logical processes by which new thoughts are issued, and into what new paths of thinking they lead.
5th. Watch the effect which each new philosophic thought produces on the thinkers of an age, and trace its influences in continuous descent, until the thought of the wise man become the common saying of the multitude.*
a paper on
We are fully aware of the imperfection with which the present topic has been discussed. The defects which we perceive in the present series of papers on the "Art of Reading" we purpose supplying in future articles on other topics, important to those engaged in selfculture. Among other projected papers in which the information and advices herein given will most probably be extended and exemplified, we may mention, "Oratory," "Writing," "History as a Study," and "The Art of Studying History;" and under the head “Logic,” "The Logic of Study." We hope in this series to supply such hints on these subjects as might be supposed to be given by an intelligent friend in the act of couhselling a younger student than himself. In this attempt we hope to succeed. We expect to be enabled to work our hope into a reality. Experience is a dearly purchased commodity. Most of the writers in this portion of this serial have paid the full purchase-price for it, and are willing to lend their toilsome acquirements that you may be spared a portion of the the labour, the fatigue, the disappointments, and the ill health which unguided, if not misguided, study has cost them. Give us your best thanks the earnest. and faithful practice of our precepts.
*In the series of papers on "European Philosophy," the author is attempting to write a history of mental science, in accordance with the principles herein stated. We commend them to the favourable notice of our readers.-EDS. B. C.
DO THE SCRIPTURES TEACH THAT THE PUNISHMENT OF THE WICKED
THE duration of the punishment of sinners is a question that can only be settled by the light of scripture, and the aid of that Spirit that is to guide the faithful into all truth. Conscious of this fact, the Controversialist wisely refers its religious disputants to the Bible, and the Bible alone, for the legitimate settlement of the question before us.
That the wicked-the incorrigibly wicked, the finally impenitent-even all who die unpardoned, will be punished after death, in another world, is certain. "The rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments," Luke xvi. 22, 23. Not only sin, but the sinner himself will be punished. We were somewhat surprised at the following sentiment, advanced by "Sigma," in his paper on the negative side of the question:-"It is a remarkable fact that all the denunciations of the Divine anger are directed, not against the sinner, but against his sins." No sooner had we read these words than the following and other passages of a like kind rushed into our mind:-"The soul that sinneth, it shall die;" "The wicked shall be turned into hell;" "Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest." We can form an ideal conception of sin apart from the sinner; but how to form an idea, or even a notion, of sin being punished without the sinner, we know not. And yet, the language of "Sigma" implies as much. Neither paternal, nor educational, nor civil authority, knows anything at all about punishing guilt apart from the guilty. Much less are the Divine denunciations denounced against sin only.
We are, moreover, assured by scripture, that the wicked shall suffer the penalty due to their sins, when their souls and bodies are reunited after the resurrection. In point of time the general resurrection will precede the general judgment; and it will be from the latter that the lost will date the com
mencement of the unmitigated punishment due to their bad conduct. Christ exhorts us to fear Him who "is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." From which it is reasonable to infer, that those who do not fear God will be thus destroyed. In another place, John v. 28, he says, "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." Again: "And before him (the Son of man) shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats," &c., Matt. xxv. 32. Unto them on his left hand the Saviour will say, "Depart from me, ye cursed." And where is the text that says, or even intimates, that the cursed will ever be invited back? Unfortunately for the lost, there is not one-no, not one. However reluctant to go, however desirous of coming back, they will be driven away in their wickedness, thrust out, turned into hell, bound hand and foot, and cast, thrown into outer darkness.
Without entering into any details respecting the nature of future punishment, suffice it to say that, in scripture it is spoken of as-" "wrath to come;" ""the damnation of hell;" "the vengeance of eternal fire;" "a furnace of fire;' a lake of fire and brimstone; 'the second death;" "outer darkness; "destruction;" "the blackness of darkness for ever;" &c., &c. Whether we explain these expressions figuratively or literally, mildly or otherwise, they certainly imply an extraordinary degree of intense punishment. Understood literally, and applied to the body only, they are appalling; but when understood in their proper sense, and as applicable to the soul, they are heartrending.
As it regards the duration of this punishment, which, by the way, is the main feature
for ever that limits the servitude, but the servitude of the subject that limits the idea of the word. "And there shall abide for ever," ie., during his whole life. That Samuel was a man, and would have to die, precluded the possibility of his never-ending ministrations before the Lord in an earthly sanctuary. Let our opponents interpret and apply the word in the same way, and by the same rule, when it is used in connection with the duration of future punishment, i. e., let them give it the same latitude of duration as the immortal nature of the wicked themselves possesses. When the word is employed about subjects that are evanescent in their nature, it must have a corresponding meaning; for an attribute cannot exist after its subject is destroyed. But when it predicates anything, or qualifies anything that is predicated, of a subject whose nature and organization are eternal, it also has a perpetuity of meaning an idea, of duration equal to the duration of the subject about which it is employed. In fact, it is the only proper word that is used in scripture to express the eternity of eternal beings, eternal attributes, and eternal states. The Deity himself is called "the everlasting (aioniou) God," Rom. xvi. 26. In another place, he is styled, "the King eternal (aionon)," 1 Tim. i. 17. And the Spirit is called, "the eternal (aioniou) Spirit," Heb. ix. 14. Christ is set forth in Rom. ix. 5, as being, "God blessed for ever (aionas)." Again, he is said to be, "the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever (aionas)."
of the question, we verily believe it to be unending eternal; and that this is the doctrine taught in the inspired volume. So far as we have been able to ascertain, there are but few, if any, doctrines more expressly defined, and more strongly and solemnly ratified in scripture, than the eternal duration of future punishment. And if by any mode of interpretation this doctrine can be explained away-expunged from the sacred page, then is no doctrine safe; all is a mockery, a delusion, and a snare. The eternal duration of the punishment of the wicked in hell is expressly, literally, authoritatively, and repeatedly revealed and avouched in scripture. Christ, the highest in authority, says, "Then shall he (the Son of man) say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting (aionion) fire," Matt. xxv. 41. And again: "These (on his left hand) shall go away into everlasting (aionion) punishment," Matt. xxv. 46. In another place, he speaks of the blasphemer against the Holy Ghost as being "in danger of eternal (aionion) damnation," Mark iii. 29. St. Paul, whom we may regard as the second in doctrinal authority, in speaking of the wicked says, they "shall be punished with everlasting (aionion) destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power," &c., 2 Thess. i. 9. And in another place he speaks of the doctrine of "eternal (aionion) judgment," Heb. vi. 2. Were there no other, these passages, as so many credible witnesses, are sufficient to maintain inviolable the doctrine of eternal punishment in hell. But it is objected, the word aionios-everlasting or eternal, is used sometimes to denote a long but finite period.
may be occasionally used in this sense, but such is not its radical signification; on the contrary, its primary meaning (like that of its root, aion) is always being. So that when it is thus used, it is an exception to the rule, and not the rule itself. Besides, when the word is so used, the nature of the subject respecting which it is used gives it the idea of finiteness. In all cases wherein the word is applied in scripture, the idea of duration as embodied in it is commensurate or co-equal with the duration of the subject of which it is the predicate. Take any one case you please; e. g., " He shall serve him for ever," i. e., so long as either the servant or the master shall live. It is not the word
Now, since the scriptures say, that the wicked "shall be punished with everlasting destruction;" that they "shall go away into everlasting punishment;" that they shall "depart into everlasting fire;" and, in so saying, use the same word as is used to express God's eternity, and the eternity of his attributes; I am as much bound to believe that the wicked will be eternally punished, as I am to believe that God will exist eternally, or that he will be blessed for ever. The nature of Deity admits of never-ending existence; his character is such as entitles him to be blessed for ever. Thus it is with the lost soul; it will live for ever, and is susceptible of being punished for ever. I have also the same authority to believe that the wicked will be eternally lost, as I have for believing that the
righteous will be eternally saved. For, in
ever and ever."
In the next place, we find the phrase, eis aionas aionon, for ever and ever, employed to set forth the unending duration of future punishment. In this phrase there is a repetition of the word aionos, consequently an intensity of meaning. It is said of those who would worship the beast and his image, that "the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever," Rev. xiv. 11. And of the great whore it is said, "her smoke rose up for ever and ever," Rev. xix. 3. Of the devil it is said, he "shall be tormented day and night, for ever and ever," Rev. xx. 10. In all other places where this phrase occurs it has a good meaning; and as "Sigma" himself will concede, a meaning of endless duration. It is employed to denote the endless reign of God's servants in heaven; to describe the eternal duration of God's attributes and works. By virtue of what rule, then, can we so vary the meaning of the phrase as to make it signify a finite period in one case, and an infinite period in an
not quenched;" "the fire that shall never go out;' ""the wrath of God abideth on him;" "it had been good for that man if he had not been born;" "thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing;""the second death;" Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf FIXED, so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us that would come from thence;" "the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God;" "he that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still;"" for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." Without augmenting this list of texts there surely is evidence enough to convince any man, open to conviction, that the punishment of the wicked will be eternal.
As collateral evidence in favour of our argument, we adduce the following pertinent scripture expressions-expressions that can by no means be made to signify the reverse of what they express; viz., "unquenchable fire; ""their worm dieth not, and the fire is
Greek Testament, Mark ix. 44.
As regards the argument of "Sigma," we think it proves too much. It sooner diminishes than increases the plausibility of his assumptive dogmata. We do not deny that God is good, that he loves the sinner, that he is deeply concerned about his well-being, that he has given his Son to die for him, and that Christ has died for every man. We believe all this, and a great deal more. And, among other things, we believe this one; viz., that if, after all that has been so divinely, affectionately, freely, and fully done to save the sinner, he refuses to be saved, he deserves to be eternally lost. That God desires the salvation, and that Christ has rendered every man savable, is no proof that all men either will, or must be saved. It is God's desire that all men should be happy now, and it is every man's privilege to be happy now; but is such the case? Alas! it is far otherwise. God's Spirit will not always strive with man; the time will come when he will say of the wicked, "Let them alone." "He that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour." wicked and him that loveth violence his (the Lord's) soul hateth." The Eternal God stands related to the sinner otherwise than as a Father and a Saviour; to the lost sinner he will be a consuming fire," the