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common degree), no stronger proof could be given. Nor would Basil, in his excellent " Address to young men on the study of the ancient Greeks," have pronounced " the whole Homeric poetry a commendation of virtue,"1 if he had understood the great poet to have inculcated the doctrine of a mere animal soul, deprived of all spiritual attributes, and of consciousness itself, afer deat/i.
Even the caricatures of Lucian are here not without significance; for their object was to reproduce the characters and ideas of Homer in order to hold them up to ridicule. They undoubtedly show how the Homeric descriptions of the world beyond death were popularly understood. In these pictures, it is needless to say, the dead are represented as possessing perfect consciousness, remembrance of thenlife on earth,9 the capacity of acquiring new knowledge,3 and of mental and moral expansion in every way.
We cannot allow that the German critics understand Homer better than the ancient Greeks themselves. At least it will require much better reasons than any yet produced by the authors of this new theory to prove that both the popular impression of his ideas and the opinions of the most acute and thoughtful minds of his own race, from Pythagoras down to Eustathius, were " incorrect" and " false."
The Homeric soul, then, representing the whole interior and immaterial man, survives death and is immortal. Whether it is poetically said to pass through a fatal wound,4 or to go out through the lips in the last breath,6 whatever catastrophe breaks the mysterious bond which holds it to the body, its purely mental and spiritual faculties are only disengaged and set at liberty by the change. It "quits the limbs," and "swift-winged" (Trra/iivri, aTroTnaphi)) "takes
1 Hatra fiiv 71 voir\(TiS r$ 'Ofir)p(o &p€Tr)s Itrriv frrau'os, C. 4. The same thought is several times repeated in this fine discourse, which is contained in the Works of Basil, Tom. II. pp. 243 scq. (Bened. Ed. reprinted by Gaume, Paris 1839).
2 Tarn iraph ihv $tov. Achil. and Antil.
3 Alex, and Han. Where Hannibal says he had learned Greek since he entered Hades.
* II. 14. 518, 19. * D 9. 409.
its flight (iren-orrjTeu) — reflecting, the meanwhile, remembering, expecting, comparing, grieving, experiencing, in short, that various, and wondrous play of thought, emotion, and volition which bespoke its divine activity while in the body, — to the general abode of the departed. There, after long ages, it rehearses its earthly history, and enters into large and various discourse with a living man who had been divinely guided to and instructed for the interview, every utterance of that discourse manifesting (as in fact every human utterance does) the attributes of personal and conscious existence.
By what process Nagelsbach, Voelcker, and Miiller have been able to persuade themselves that this thinking, reasoning, remembering, rejoicing, and sorrowing soul is "destitute of mental faculties," "bewustlos," "wesenlos," having "kein Geist, kein Gefuhl, kein Denke, kein Wille," passes all comprehension, unless it be explained by that habit of substituting- hypothesis for induction, which so largely characterizes the historical criticism of German scholars under the influence of the " newest fashion" (as Sir James M'Intosh called it) of German philosophy. The theory of historical development is considered established and indisputable. Homer must bow to it. Homer, who besides all he has said incidentally of the divine birth and divine faculties and post-mortal state of man, has left a whole book of the discourses and actions of disembodied souls — discourses which instructed, warned, and guided the future conduct of "the most sagacious of men." Homer must be made to unsay all his premature and disorderly psychological utterances, to go back tp his proper place in the line of development, and humble himself to the confession that when the body dies, " the spirit of man is dead also." But after all the critical torture to which the old bard has been put by these German inquisitors, he recants in every line, and, like Galileo, indignantly and pertinaciously reiterates: "it lives notwithstanding."
The truth is, the expectation of a future life is not at all a result of development. It is not a product of ratiocination. It is a tradition, a sentiment of the heart, a primary truth of consciousness, or all the three combined. It is as old as history, as universal as humanity. It is one of those arfpa-rrra Kaa-tf>d\3j of which Sophocles has nobly said:
Ou yap Tt viv ye K&\3h, cUA' det 7tot€
It has rather lost than gained in strength and distinctness when the logical faculty has been brought to its assistance. One cannot read over Socrates' demonstration of the immortality of the soul, in the Phredo of Plato, without being struck with the feebleness and inconclusiveness of the arguments. But when the sound minded old man throws himself on the support of the original sentiment, and says: "I know, I feel that I shall live after death, that I shall meet better men in that other state than I have associated with here, and that I shall still have a kind and provident God to care for me," his words find an echo in every human bosom. Man feels his own immortality. He cannot prove it, but he need not. He knows it without proof, before proof. It is too far back, too deep down to be capable of proof. It is more certain than anything that can be brought to demonstrate it, stronger than anything that can be brought to support it. When the logical faculty goes to work upon it, we find it as hard to construct a satisfactory process for the ergo ero as Descartes did for the ergo sum. It would seem, then, that consciousness includes a future life among its perceptions. Just as a man knows that he is, he knows that he will continue to be. His intelligence looks before and after, just as it contemplates the now. It was not, perhaps, without a special meaning that our great poet called it, in connection with this peculiarity of its operation, "godlike reason." For in this quality the soul bears the image of its divine Parent, who "inhabiteth eternity." Wherever the natural sentiments of humanity have not been perverted or
bewildered by philosophical scepticism, death is not thought of or spoken of as an interruption of conscious existence, much less a ceasing to be, but merely agoing away, a change of place. The ancients reasoned from this, that the consciousness of immortality was indicated by the very nature of language.1 Men have no more doubt of a future life 1 han they have of the present. This belief does not depend upon, is not necessarily strengthened by, culture, civilization, education. It is as distinct and confident in the North American savage as in the German doctor of philosophy; in fact, much more so. It was more firm and general in the age of Homer than in that of Socrates. Not one of the characters of Homer ever insinuates a doubt of a future existence. But from Socrates we learn that the majority of men in his time disbelieved the immortality of the soul, and thought it would be dissipated and annihilated at death.3 This is the natural effect of culture without faith. Men had lost their hold on the primitive sentiment and could not grasp it as a logical sequence. Between the two, they fell into doubt. Scepticism is the intermediate state between nature and faith. The voice of nature spoke at first, and men believed. Then they insisted on a logical proof of that which was beyond the reach of ratiocination, and failing to find it, they doubted and disbelieved. As man "by wisdom knew not God," so "by wisdom" he knew not himself. As false and over-bold reasoning lost the true idea of the Divine, so it lost the true idea of the human. The same age and the same process gave birth to atheists and doubters of the soul's immortality—to an Aristodemus and a Simmias. True ideas of God and man always go together, and cannot be held apart. No man who believes the divine origin of the human soul ever doubted its immortality; and no man who rejects the first can hold to the last. Paul has traced the course of this mental aberration in a few masterly words, which are as applicable to the spiritual nature and future life of man as to the " eternal power and deity of
God." "That which can be known of God is manifest in men, for God hath revealed it to them. But in their reasonings they went astray, and their foolish heart was darkened. Calling themselves wise, they were turned into fools."1 Humanity doubtless underwent a vast development from the age of Homer downwards. But spiritual ideas, either of God or man, did not partake of it. Homer with all his myths and sensualities, has no word to denote an image or material representation of God.2 In the age of Pericles, as afterwards in that of Paul, Athens and all Greece was full of idols (KaTelS<i>Xos). In the Homeric poetry, no one breathes a doubt that the soul would live after death. In the age of Socrates, scepticism was the fashion, and was avowed by some of his intimate friends. In fact, Homer's conception of a future life was, in one essential point, much simpler and nobler than even that of Socrates. The theory of the latter included the metempsychosis with all its revolting absurdities.8 The notion of a transmigration of souls never appears to have crossed the mind of Homer. His idea of a future life admitted no confusion of natures or of personalities. His Achilles, though stalking gloomily through the shades of Hades, is Achilles still, a properly human and individual soul, "with thoughts that wander through eternity,"— and thus far an infinitely truer and more sublime conception than the same soul animating the body of a lion or a vulture. Nor did the belief improve, either in certainty or form, as ages rolled away and civilization advanced. In the tragic poets we have, indeed, a constant recognition of the immortality of the -tyv)(fj (which with them, as with Homer, is the whole incorporeal man); but it is an immortality altogether of the Homeric order. Antigone says:4 "for a much longer duration must I please the dwellers below than those on earth — for there I shall abide forever;"
1 Hom. I: 19—22.
2 Veith (Ant. Hom. p. 25) considers II. 6. 270 a probable allusion to imageworship. But the probability is weak, the more so as it stands alone in tbe Homeric poetry.
8 JPhaed. Cap. XXXI. scq 4 474 seq.